Maybe it’s my age – or should I say ‘our’ age as I’m blaming MyFace for reminding me of (and putting me in touch with) people I’ve not spoken to since I left University or even High School! I digress, but I think I’ve made my point.
Does it serve a purpose, nostalgia? It was never as good as we remember, the rose-tinted hindsight goggles clouding the facts. If I look too closely, I’m just reminded how young, stupid and arrogant I was at the time. I knew it all then – now I know nothing. It’s also reminding me of the slightly depressing fact it’s taken me the best part of 20 years to get my writing into print.
And harnessing that vague feeling we call nostalgia and putting it into my writing is proving to be a bit of a challenge, perhaps more than I wish to admit to myself. Maybe it’s a time-travel piece, going back to slap myself in the proverbial or kick my ass and explain a few things about how the world works. Would it work? Not likely. My 20-year-old self couldn’t be told anything and I doubt time travel would make it any better.
I can also envisage a dark and depressing scenario full of the regrets and lost opportunities that every decision we make entails. I gave up on regret a long time ago – it doesn’t add anything to life and I wouldn’t be where I am if things had been different. There you go, an alternate reality version that’s like this one, but another choice was made at a crucial junction, changing the path completely.
So, admitting it wasn’t better then just leaves me with the pleasant feeling that it’s actually not a bad thing to catch up with old friends and acquaintances. Hmm… that’s just a bit too rosy to fit the arc of my next story. Oh well.