I've done it again. Got all nostalgic. Caught myself looking through old snaps, and that strange mix of happiness and sadness crept up on me. And that stench drifting in, what was it? Regret. Denial. Horror. A mixture of all three. Those days. Years ago. The happier times. Or at least seemingly so. I seemed to worry less back then, I seemed to smile more, I seemed to be happier, more carefree. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I'm miserable now, or unhappy with where my life is at at the moment. It's just, every so often, that little bittersweet feeling of nostalgia kicks in, and gets me to reminiscing of simpler times. My "younger and more vulnerable years" as described by Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby, were, to me, strangely some of my most daring and carefree. I guess it has something to do with age.
At merely 14, the weight on my shoulders was less, light, easy to carry. I had less baggage, less experience of the world, less responsibility. I was naive, and thankful to be. The pressure was practically nonexistent. School was just somewhere to go to socialise with friends, the real work was yet to come. The real life was just around the corner. Experience of the big, bad world would be sooner than we expected. In the blink of an eye, we grew up. We aged overnight. Everything got serious, straight-laced, important. Those mid-term tests became exams, those spats with friends turned to unsettled feuds, those little jobs turned into big responsibilities. So, why now is everything different? As my teenage years are drawing rapidly to a close, (excuse me while I try not to dwell on this) why is it that I'm edgier than ever?
The older we get, the more baggage we carry, and ultimately, the less willing we are to take risks. Why? Well I think I've figured it out. The older we are, the more we have to lose. At 19, I'm all too aware of what the big, bad world has in store, and sometimes, I'm not willing to take that risk, because there's just too much to stake. Even though I'm only young, there are certain things I'll hold on to tighter than ever, and not let go. It's also harder to say how you feel. Rejection, judgement and a thousand and one other factors come into play when you're in your latter teenage years. Those soul-destroying, stomach-plummeting moments we've experienced before, well, understandably we're reluctant to put ourselves in similar situations just in case the outcome matches up.
So, nostalgia really is a dirty word. It makes you bitter and confused and yet, at the same time, makes me want to get back to those days, those feelings of freedom. Throwing caution to the wind and risking everything you've got for something you want/need. Maybe it's time I did just that. For once, not concentrate on what's at stake, but what I've got go gain. Maybe if I play my cards right, it'll work out better than ever.