Why Nostalgia Sucks

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

That Old Nostalgic Feeling.

Today, I walked the route from town to my old house where I grew up and beyond it, passed the school I went to a million, billion years ago. I pass through that town all the time lately. It’s kind of the central hub in my journey to work. But I don’t often walk that route. The last time I did so was two years ago when I was invited to speak at my old school and open their new library. I walked that walk and I let my mind wander back to the days when I walked the same route every day. I purposely walked it before I was due to give the talk, in order to incorporate it into my speech.

I was so nervous. I was to stand in the school hall and address the entire school, talking about myself and my books. It was nerve-racking, I was a very, very shy kid and here I was standing in the hall I used to sit in and listen to my very first teachers. One of whom was the inspiration behind my writing. She was the first person to really believe in me.

Revisiting Childhood.

Anyway, back to present day, I chose to walk the route again. I wasn’t entirely sure why until I got in later in the evening. I did it because I have been questioning a lot of my life choices lately and I wanted to feel that sense of nostalgia. Walking by my old house made me remember the little boy with the head full of dreams I once was. I was deep in thought as I walked. The nostalgic feeling washing over me like a never-ending river. I bathed in it and felt the guilt of letting down my younger self.

I have failed university twice, I am also divorced and only have weekend access to my young son. I’m also without a house to call my own. It’s so, so easy to feel like a failure, especially when you can make a list like that.

Feeling Some Pride.

However, as I walked, I thought some more about that young boy. He was shy, scared, and lonely. I have overcome the shyness, more or less. I’m also less afraid in general, but I am still lonely. I miss my son when he’s not around. But, I have things to be proud of, as well as mistakes to feel ashamed about. I have written and published five books, six if you count the little Christmas one I wrote especially for my son last year.

I also do have a son, even if I feel like I have failed him by not being around every day. I am so proud of him, he’s such a sweet, smart, kind little boy. He’s all I ever wanted really.

Final Word.

Nostalgia is a massive feeling, it can feel really great or really bad and it can change in a second. But, it’s also the reason Disney continues to remake its classic cartoons in live action. It’s the reason we crave things from our childhood, why old video game consoles are re-released.

Nostalgia is a feeling I like to embrace once in a while, just in small doses, maybe.

Children/YA author and literacy teacher. I write articles about writing, teaching, fatherhood, and gender/racial equality among other things!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store