Nostalgia

The word Nostalgia is Greek in origin; Greek nóst (os) a return home + -algi. 



Recently I returned home. However, for a nomad who has often struggled to define where exactly home is, the idea of returning home is not joyful, especially when one’s idea of home doesn’t exist anymore.

I stopped saying that I had to go home, I would say instead that I had to go back to Canada, or to Winnipeg, or to see my family and work a ton so I could return to Italy sooner rather than later. Here’s the thing, Italy isn’t home either, it’s a place where I found some happiness. Winnipeg never felt like home, I never felt like I belonged there, I always had a yearning for travel, and for what the world has to offer. Winnipeg was just too stifling, too small minded, too mundane. The simplicity of a routine mindless existence, simply to satisfy checking off the boxes of social expectations terrified me.images-3

Then I fell in love, and everything changed. When you have a family you find purpose, and the things that you thought were routine, repetitive, boring all become so meaningful. When you’re trying to make a home for yourself and the people you love, that becomes your greatest priority, so laundry, dishes, and grocery shopping become the point of your day and your week, and even your life. I was so in love that, to my own disbelief and surprise, I would have happily settled into a life in Winnipeg, complete with the repetitive daily routine. I wanted it. You may complain about it in the moment sure, but once its gone you miss it terribly.

I spent one year in Italy, and most of that time was spent mourning the loss of a future that I had hoped for, and dreamed of and planned for. Most of that time was spent sorting through pain and heartbreak and putting the pieces back together. I was determined to heal, to forgive, to find peace, and to grow as a person. Those were my goals and I’d have to say that after many months, I emerged successful. I found happiness and peace, I felt alive and in love with life, and I was falling in love with me too.

Little did I know what was waiting for me back “home”.

Time seems to stand still in your mind when you are not physically present in a place. You go on with your life, and people back home go on with theirs, but somehow this does not compute in your brain in terms of day to day life. And its the day to day stuff, the routine, that forms partnerships and is the basis of relationships. When you’re travelling time seems to fly by, or more so there isn’t really a concept of time at all. What you don’t realize is just how much things can change in your absence, that the people you left behind continued on in their lives, without you. As new relationships grow and develop, you fade into a distant memory, and the pain of loosing you is replaced by the joys of new love and a fresh start.

As my time in Italy drew to an end I was increasingly nervous and anxious about coming “home”. I said many times it was because I had nothing to come back too. I said the words over and over, but I didn’t seem to realize their implications. I knew I had no job, and that basically my life was packed away into a pile of boxes in my sisters garage, and various other places. I knew that I didn’t have an apartment to come back too, nor did I have a relationship to return to. Yet I only thought coming back here sucked because I was coming back to Winnipeg. It was the truth and depth of that word nothing that I had not anticipated.

Nostalgia is defined in the following ways;

pleasure and sadness that is caused by remembering something from the past and wishing that you could experience it again

a sentimental or wistful yearning for the happiness felt in a former place, time, or situation

a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one’s life, to one’s home or homeland, or to one’s family and friends; sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time

Everywhere I looked I saw us. I saw us in everything. I drove the same routes and streets that we used to, just out of habit. Past our old apartment building, and restaurants we enjoyed together. I felt like a ghost wandering through a graveyard of
memories, places that still exist, yet we don’t.nostalgia

So for a moment I thought I wanted it all back. Memories of us threatened to drown me completely, so for a moment I was overcome with guilt and regret… It was all my fault, I let you down, I took you for granted, I wasn’t there when you needed me, I didn’t support you enough…I still love you…I’m sorry. I came to realize fully the meaning of having nothing because you were my everything, my life was you, and now you’re living a new life. 

These are not at all empty words, in fact they carry a lot of weight, but somehow its dead weight. Those thoughts, those beliefs and feelings don’t change anything. And this is how nostalgia works. It paints everything in a rosy light, you remember a golden age, you ache for what has been lost, you loose touch with reality; what was and what is.

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Nostalgia is essentially more heartbreak. You remember happiness and love and good memories, even routines. You remember the life you shared and you long for it, you miss it and you regret every moment, every word said and decision made that led to loosing each other. Nostalgia is in fact the deepest most painful heartbreak.

What’s needed to survive nostalgia is a tough dose of reality, whatever you have to do to convince yourself of what is, and to remind yourself of all that happened in the time since it all fell apart. What’s needed is a perspective shift, to remember the lessons you learned and the growth you achieved. To know that the journey is not over yet, and will never be over, not if you want to achieve a relationship with your higher self. You need to recall the pieces of yourself that you found and left behind, and continue on your path to self love. Remembering your worth and what you deserve in life, and in a partner, helps to shatter the illusion that nostalgia bestows upon the past. 


 

                                                                                   “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” -Adele

Just the guitar. OK, cool.

This was all you, none of it me
images-1You put your hands on, on my body and told me
Mmm
You told me you were ready
For the big one, for the big jump
I’d be your last love everlasting you and me
Mmm
That was what you told me

I’m giving you up
I’ve forgiven it all
You set me free

Send my love to your new lover
Treat her better
We’ve gotta let go of all of our ghosts
We both know we ain’t kids no more
Send my love to your new lover
Treat her better
We’ve gotta let go of all of our ghosts
We both know we ain’t kids no more

I was too strong, you were trembling
You couldn’t handle the hot heat rising (rising)
Mmm
Baby I’m still rising
I was running, you were walking
You couldn’t keep up, you were falling down (down)
Mmm
Mmm there’s only one way down

I’m giving you up
I’ve forgiven it all
You set me free, oh

Send my love to your new lover
Treat her better
We gotta let go of all of our ghosts
We both know we ain’t kids no more
Send my love to your new lover
Treat her better
We’ve gotta let go of all of our ghosts
We both know we ain’t kids no more

If you’re ready, if you’re ready
If you’re ready, I’m ready
If you’re ready, if you’re ready
We both know we ain’t kids no more
No, we ain’t kids no more

I’m giving you up
I’ve forgiven it all
You set me free

Send my love to your new lover
Treat her better
We’ve gotta let go of all of our ghosts
We both know we ain’t kids no more
Send my love to your new lover
Treat her better
We’ve gotta let go of all of our ghosts
We both know we ain’t kids no more

If you’re ready, if you’re ready (send my love to your new lover)
If you’re ready, I’m ready (treat her better)
We’ve gotta let go of all of our ghosts
We both know we ain’t kids no more
If you’re ready, if you’re ready (send my love to your new lover)
If you’re ready, I am ready (treat her better)
We’ve gotta let go of all of our ghosts

We both know we ain’t kids no more.”
“Someone Like You” -Adele
I heard that you’re settled down
That you found a girl and you’re married now.
I heard that your dreams came true.
Guess she gave you things I didn’t give to you.

Old friend, why are you so shy?
Ain’t like you to hold back or hide from the light.

I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited
But I couldn’t stay away, I couldn’t fight it.
I had hoped you’d see my face and that you’d be reminded images-7
That for me it isn’t over.

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best for you too
Don’t forget me, I beg
I’ll remember you said,
Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead, 
Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead

You know how the time flies
Only yesterday was the time of our lives
We were born and raised
In a summer haze
Bound by the surprise of our glory days

I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited
But I couldn’t stay away, I couldn’t fight it.
I’d hoped you’d see my face and that you’d be reminded
That for me it isn’t over.

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best for you too
Don’t forget me, I beg
I’ll remember you said,
Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead.

Nothing compares
No worries or cares
Regrets and mistakes
They are memories made.
Who would have known how bittersweet this would taste?

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best for you
Don’t forget me, I beg
I’ll remember you said,
Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead.

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best for you too
Don’t forget me, I beg
I’ll remember you said,
Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead,
Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead.”

 

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