Reflection on Nostalgia
During the latest trip to where I grew up nostalgia was charming me with the comfort of familiarity. It seemed so safe and pleasant to be back, the idea of life there seemed to make sense, easy. I let myself be teased with the idea of moving there again, be with my family and the lakes that could redeem anyone’s spirits. It made it hard to leave. On the plane I asked myself various questions. In reality would I really enjoy my life there? Am I enjoying it completely here (Chicago)? Is one place better than the other? This is the area I seek clarity.
It was so comforting to know exactly where everything was and that the buildings looked the same. Seeing people I have known for over a decade was enchanting, I romanticized every encounter. “Wow, he looks the same! And still works at the bank!” or “This Dairy Queen tastes the same as when I was little!” The same shit that use to bore me now seemed wildly delightful.
Now living in the country seems so romantic; tending a garden, swimming in the lake, or having a quiet morning immersed in nature. Could I let myself have that? My two current lifestyles are in such contrast but I appreciate what it brings out in me. The city is a constant source of inspiration, the country is a source of peace. Nostalgia for what once was played tricks on my mind. For days I longed for the comfort of what can never really be again. Do I really like all the stuff (and people) in my hometown or is it because it feels so good to know people and places that know me? Internally, I’m constantly evolving which makes the consistency of my small hometown seem so appealing and safe. Seems like the fast track to security and safety. I suddenly like knowing that not much really changes too drastically in that place, but also isn’t that what I use to resent?
I am rubbing out the belief that I use to hold about moving “back home” was a sign of defeat or giving up. Now I see how it can feed our souls and nourish what we once had but morph it to fit our current selves.