Nostalgia is an interesting emotion, one I would claim is like no other. There is something bittersweet about it. Bitter because those days are past, yet sweet because you only remember the good things. Which leads to an interesting feeling, a feeling of missing something which you never really had. Feeling like you wish you were in some idyllic past that never really happened that way and certainly didn’t feel that way at the time. Even the word itself comes from that root, it is a combination of the greek words nostos (returning home) and algos (pain). Nostalgia, to me, feels like it attaches to the concept of your life as a whole – the feeling of progress, of movement, of accomplishment and most importantly of a story. The feeling on a whole is similar to that you might get watching a movie which covers a character’s entire life (aka. Forrest Gump, Benjamin Button, Big Fish, etc.).
I am someone who likes sad movies and I think nostalgia always has a deep underlying sadness attached, a feeling of great and deep loss – the loss of time. This makes it very unique as an emotion, because it is so sad yet also so happy and strong. I get the feeling that an afterlife (such as heaven) would be a lot like being in a state of perpetual nostalgia. A state where you are able to reflect on your life as a whole and marvel at the beauty of its story. Nostalgia is also funny because it is a little hard to see a scientific explanation for it, as far as I know I’ve never seen any work done in the field (and google yields no results of worth).
So why the discussion on nostalgia? Well I think it is interesting to think about, even if it is ambiguous enough to prevent any real inquires into the topic (someone please prove me wrong!). The other main reason is that today is my second last day in Brisbane, Australia. I’ve lived in this city for seven years now, a fair portion of my life. Tomorrow I will be leaving to go to Canberra – moving out of home and beginning my university studies. It will be an exciting time, a new journey and the beginning of my independent life. But as I look forward I can’t help but look back and feel nostalgic towards my life so far. Another consequence of this move will be very disruptive internet access, so bear with me if this blog slows down – it isn’t dead, just in intermission.