Friday, 27 February 2009

Nostalgia - Is it good for us?

Memories are very precious to me. I love looking back on old photographs, videos, audio clips and songs I've recorded with friends; all of which I'm in bountiful supply of. For me it takes me back to all those places, back home, to all those good times, too many to list. Largely around the age of 15, a lot of things happened that year, many many good things, including the best summer I've ever had, so there's a bit more sentiment within that year than many others. However, it's quite bittersweet. You see, as good as it makes me feel, it always makes me miss how much of a great time I used to have in the prime of my youth. I mean it's not like I'm plagued with depression or anything now no, no. It's just that I'm only 18, is it bad that I'm looking back on my youth as if it were 40 years ago? It's perplexing, it makes me feel old. It feels like I already have enough to tell to my grandchildren.

What's more perplexing is the fact that there's no real possibility to replicate any of these golden times in my life. Every moment is unique and we obsess over these minute, small moments which bare stupendous amounts of sentiment, and we crave to relive those moments time and time again. But there's no real physical or emotional way to recreate these moments down to every detail - cue the potential danger of nostalgia to show its face. Is it worth it? I suppose for the prevention of potential emotional harm it isn't worth. It's perfectly concievable to suggest that nostalgia is bad for you. What's the point in fantastising over something that can never truly be realised if it's going to damage you in the long term? What's the point in memories at all? They're just recollections of the past, it could blind you into pursuing the future.

For me, I suppose it's worth the fall, and my memory plays a big part in that. You see, its not the greatest of memories, and it doesn't do me a huge amount of favours especially at this age. I'd expect it to be this bad maybe when I'm in my 30's, so I can't begin to imagine how bad it will be when I get there. I forget peoples names all of the time, even when they're my closest friends and I've known them a large portion of my life. I think I get it from my mother's side of the family. Her memory's great, but her brother's and her mother's aren't in the greatest of shapes. I can recall many times where my Nana has had to go through five names before she gets to mine - humorous, but in certain situations it can be deadly...anyway. Whenever I have a nostalgic period, I tend to forget it quite quickly, allowing all the multimedia blessings I possess to stay ever 'fruitful', they get me every time. And for me, it isn't that often that the lack of replicating a time has a long lasting affect on me - it's only the really amazing times that stay imprinted in my train of thought, even then I'm aware of my boundaries.

At the moment I'd love to start up parkour again, not that I was a master or anything at the time, but I loved it all the same. I'm not the build for it now, time and food has got the better of me over the last few years. But, if I were to ever gain the right figure for it again, I'd take it up in a heart beat. Plus it goes back to the days of being 15 again, so there's a lot laced within it. But all in all I treasure all these links to the past, its evidence we have something to show for the lives we've been leading all this time. And for me, there's some times that are far too precious to simply throw away, some way or another they're all part of who I am now, and I don't mind me at all.

So my question to you is, should memories be kept sacred under lock and key on our computers and in the dusty cabinets in our heads,? Or should we make a bonfire out of all of them to kill the chance of us wasting our precious time on something we'll never truly expierience for the second time?