Destructive Nostalgia

Existing in a state of nostalgia is like living in a paradox.


Being an emotional person my whole life has served me with a various amount of different and unique emotional experiences than I think the average person tends to experience in this life.

One of my most commonly felt emotions being: nostalgia.

I’ve always believed that nostalgia is one of the most beautiful feelings there is to be felt. There is so much to be said about being triggered by a scent, or a touch, or a road that brings you back to the past. When I was younger, I experienced nostalgia so frequently, particularly when my parents and I would drive through the mountains and country roads of Vermont every weekend. My 10-year-old self didn’t of course necessarily know that such a word even existed, so the first time I heard the word nostalgia, I immediately felt eased to know that it wasn’t just me who felt this way.

But something I didn’t quite ever take enough time to realize in my life, is that nostalgia can be a very saddening emotion as well. In fact, I’m not sure there is any other emotion that exists which has the ability to produce so much happiness, yet so much negativity at the same time.

At least for me, experiencing nostalgia doesn’t always have to mean being sad every single time. The sadness is selective, and it’s only when I start to compare current life to past versions of myself that nostalgia becomes a negative emotion.

It’s so easy to caught up in comparative thoughts like “I used to be so skinny, but now I’m not”.

It’s important to keep in mind that nostalgia promotes a microscopic, idealized version of your past self, so don’t get so hung up on those comparative remarks because it’s certainly not fair to do to your current self. 



Morgan LiskaComment