Nostalgia

Daily Meditation #170–8/11/2022

The most bittersweet placebo is nostalgia.

Jackass Forever.
Beavis and Butt-head Do the Universe.
Aladdin.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Final Fantasy VII.
Goldeneye Reloaded.

Nostalgia is arguably one of the worst emotional timesinks.

It begins very sweet — we drift into the memory…perhaps it’s the first time we saw a movie and exploded at the big twists.
Maybe it was the first time playing a specific game.
For others, maybe it was the thrill of your first time hearing “Yes” asking someone out.

The memory is like lilacs and honey: irresistible.

But then, the sinking feeling creeps in. The sour realization we cannot “re-experience” the moment.
We can’t feel how we felt again — not really.

The world throws at you all manner of means to capitalize on the feeling of nostalgia with “Remakes” and “Re-releases,” but we always end up with nothing but utter disappointment.

Nostalgia is worse than masturbatory. It leaves us yearning and hungering for something we literally can never, ever have.

It is one of the worst and sharpest weapons of the past.

And the experience of it is mostly unavoidable. We are minding our own business, then it creeps in with its toxic and intoxicating perfumes and allure. Before we know it, we feel far worse and are left craving.

While we cannot dance, forever, around nostalgia, we can hone ourselves to be grateful for the experiences of the past.

To this day, I still fondly remember the first time I played World of Warcraft in 2007. It was like no game I had ever played.
I still think back and become misty eyed over the first time I witnessed Interstellar.
A wistful nostalgia sometimes comes over me for the first promotion I ever got.

But, before I allow the frustration and almost “jealous” sensation of nostalgia to rape me of joy, I remember with gratitude these times in the past.
They are gone.
Dead.

They, like all things, had their times in the sun and I am so grateful for the visceral feelings they evoked, but know they are in the past. I must stay in the now.

As should you.

Be mindful of the now.
Be wary of spending too much time digging into nostalgia. It is a bitter placebo, devoid of merit, save to stir the emotions to want that which you will truly never have again.

Follow for daily philosophical meditations.

These are distillations from my coming book “YouDaimonia: the Ancient Philosophy of Human Flourishing.”

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Lucas A. Davidson

Lucas A. Davidson

Born and raised a Yooper, I write daily philosophical meditations on Eudaimonia. These are distillations from my book on the topic!