When nostalgia falls

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I was recently out with the pup when I locked eyes with a young woman approximately ten years my junior. I recognized her immediately—young professional, racing to catch the Penn Station bound train. As she adjusted her bag and skipped down the block, I had an instant flashback to an earlier time when I was a 20-something-year-old and the city was my playground.

Always running, barely awake. Typically spilling my coffee and desperately hoping that everything was tucked, that no seams were loose, and that the trains wouldn’t further delay my already late arrival to work.

I think back on those days fondly. While I wouldn’t trade the me of today with the me of my past, I am sometimes gripped by nostalgia of a time when the city wasn’t a place I visited, but an entity I understood intimately. I knew the good lunch spots, the hippest bars, best date nooks, and where to go to avoid the tourists—a category I now fall under.

Yesterday I observed three young girls sitting on a bench, laughing loudly about a teacher in class. Immediately I felt that familiar flood of emotions and that tug at my heartstrings. Wasn’t it just yesterday my friends and I laughed raucously without a care in the world?

It happens to me frequently. On line at a grocery store I’ll catch a delicious and intoxicating musky scent. And suddenly I’m transported into the living room of an old relationship—a voyeur into a life I barely remember but could never forget. I’ll hear a name and think of that old friend and how we had that stupid falling out about nothing really and I wonder if she still remembers that time I ate the last cookie out of her ice cream? More often than not, I feel that pesky déjà vu and I can never put my finger on why I’m feeling this way, and what it all means.

Time keeps on slipping, slipping… into the future.

That song drives me bonkers, but that line sticks like the reel of my life’s memories.

Tell me… what makes you feel the most nostalgic?

16 Comments… add one
Nicole September 20, 2017, 9:03 AM

Music always does that to me… certain songs catapult me back to very specific places, faces, kisses… sometimes I listen on purpose, wanting to go there. Other times, it takes me by surprise. I’m always surprised at how vivid those memories can be.

Penny Struebig September 20, 2017, 9:14 AM

It always takes me back when I have moments like that. Time does go by so fast and when I see other people in certain situations always makes me feel so nostalgic.

Beth September 20, 2017, 10:16 AM

Music definitely makes me nostalgic. I heard a song yesterday that transported me to a time not that long ago when Ollie was more toddler than boy and it was a snowy day we spent home together on a non-sick day and just how cozy and warm it was.

Today I read an article posted to the alumnae group of my college about why this gal loves going to an all women college. Reading it definitely made me nostalgic for my college days. There was something about being in that community that I’ll never forget and always cherish.

Dani September 20, 2017, 12:09 PM

Songs and scents always make me reminiscent. Most recently it was a guy rushing pass me in the train station that was wearing my ex’s cologne. The only ones that make me sad though are the friendships that died for no real reason.

ShootingStarsMag September 20, 2017, 1:26 PM

Nostalgia is a powerful thing. I know various things make me think of an old friend, who basically made the decision to STOP being my friend – so it’s sad sometimes. But there are a lot of GREAT memories to look back on, so it’s not all bad.

Tamara September 20, 2017, 3:30 PM

This time of year is like a gateway drug to nostalgia! Sort of amazing. It can be hard to remember that person AND relate to her. My past self was so different!

Mia September 20, 2017, 3:34 PM

So beautifully written, Charlotte! I often feel the same way. Like when the hubs and I go out to dinner and see younger couples, or when I’m at my kids’ school and remember when I was their age. Sniffle. 🙂 Always brings back memories. xo

Shybiker September 20, 2017, 6:58 PM

This happens to me ALL THE TIME. And I have a larger collection of memories to dive into. Welcome to adulthood, my friend!

Shann Eva September 20, 2017, 11:13 PM

I actually spent Saturday night with some old friends, and we reminiced about college days. I miss those times so much, but am also happy to be where I’m at. I think the Fall also makes me nostaligic for those back to school moments.

Anthea September 21, 2017, 1:08 AM

Music always takes me back in time in seconds.
I can remember how old I was or where I first heard a song.

Karen September 21, 2017, 10:48 AM

I know it’s cliche but – food and also old cheesy movies – like the syfy ones.

I lost my mom when I was a teenager and things that I ate or watched with her make me – not sad – but nostalgic for my childhood and simpler times where I didn’t worry abut anything.

For What It’s Worth

Kimberly September 21, 2017, 11:21 AM

*Song Ear worm alert!
Great, now I’m going to have to find that on my iPod. Just kidding.
Music does that to me but it is scents that will plop me right into grandma’s kitchen or back in the gym at school…it’s very strange how our brains work.
Mine is an odd one 🙂

Crystal // Dreams, etc. September 21, 2017, 1:47 PM

I’ve been feeling so nostalgic the last few days! I found out the place I used to go salsa dancing at every Friday night recently closed and now all I’ve been doing is reliving those memories. Loved this!

Akaleistar September 21, 2017, 5:03 PM

I get those feelings, too! Sometimes it’s a smell or revisiting a place I used to live.

lisa thomson September 21, 2017, 5:16 PM

Hi Charlotte, I get nostalgic when I hear music from the 90’s. When I see young moms with their babies, it makes me nostalgic for that time in my life. But like you, I wouldn’t trade the today me for the me of the past. I guess it’s human nature to think fondly of our past memories, even if their were challenges we faced then.

San September 29, 2017, 12:10 PM

Oh, nostalgia is my middle name… I can forever reminisce of the past .

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