They say I’m old-fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast!-Dr. Seuss
I consider myself a very nostalgic person. I live for old pictures, family traditions, scrapbooks, old letters etc. It’s quite possible that this is simply an innate character trait of mine but I believe it also has a lot to do with the stark contrast of my childhood family life growing up vs. my family life now. Don’t get me wrong, both were/are great but I grew up in a house with older siblings, grandparents flying in and out quite often, big Christmas Eve parties and, as I recall, lot’s of action. By the time I was in my mid teens this had all changed…and pretty quickly. My siblings were off to college or new cities/careers, my 3 living grandparents died within 5 years of each other and pretty much all of the older generations on both sides of my family had passed away. There’s no doubt in my mind that this is why I could spend endless hours organizing my moms hundreds of old photos and why I love making scrapbooks and pieces of art from family memorabilia: doing these things is a way of reliving all those old, happy memories in my present life. I’m sure my nostalgia is also the force behind my strangely obsessive love of the holiday season.
I recently heard someone say “nostalgia is for those people who are afraid/in denial of the present…” this shook me up a bit and really got me thinking. It’s true: I am very non-confrontational and I despise stressful situations including and especially ones that coincide with “becoming an adult.” The more I thought about this comment the more I realized that I’m sure it holds some truth to my nostalgic tendencies. But this is a quality I’m happy to possess: it has made me value my family and is a huge inspiration for a lot of the projects I create and gifts I give…so where is the happy medium?
Now that my eyes have been opened to this possible explanation I think I can use that knowledge to create a productive scenario. I’ve decided that I’m going to use this realization as inspiration to develop thicker skin and become a straight-forward and “tackle-it-head-on” kind of person. Not only is nostalgia so engrained in me now (at the age of 24) that I don’t think I can change that personal trait but it is also a quality I don’t really have a desire to change. Just because the root isn’t necessarily the most positive of circumstances doesn’t mean the result is bad: like I said, my nostalgic personality has made me who I am and helped me to develop unique traits. As long as I can keep my inner child in check and appreciate the now I think I’ll let my desire for the old days linger around for a while.