“Nostalgia is a sentimentality for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.”
Let us take a trip down memory lane, with tears in my eyes, a lump in my throat and such a heavy heart.
2020 has been a strange year to say the least. Difficult in many ways- a challenge for our usual routines, the way we work and pretty much every aspect of what we do. There has been a lot of heartache for so many people who have sadly lost their loved ones during the pandemic- many of whom never had the chance to say goodbye because of government restrictions impacting the way that hospitals operate. For me, the year 2020 will be one that I will never forget, because of what I have loved and lost, and the memories and the moments that I will keep close to my heart and always in my mind.
January 2020 and all was so positive. There is something so therapeutic and refreshing about entering a new year. We reflect on the year prior and naturally, even if we don’t necessarily set ourselves a ‘New Year Resolution’, we learn from the year that we have had, and we make plans for the upcoming year to be somewhat better. So, as I entered January 2020, fresh faced and happy, I felt like I had it all under control. My wonderful family and friends were in good health, I was looking after me, and most importantly, I was confident within my own life- one thing that has not always been my strongest character trait for various reasons.
Fast forward to September 2020, and life is not so positive, and not so ‘under control’. My closest childhood friend passed away tragically, I spent months caring for my Nana before she passed away- watching her deteriorate was something that I was not emotionally prepared for, and as a family, we had to say goodbye to our beloved Boxer dog…They say it comes in threes…The Summer of 2020 had really turned my life upside down, just as February 2018 had. So, here I am again, grieving for loved ones I have lost and longing for the past, always praying for just one more moment, one more cuddle and one more ‘I love you’. Nostalgia hits me so hard, but the optimist in me thinks what a blessing it is to remember the sentimental moments, and as painful as it may be, nostalgia plays its part in keeping my very own memories alive for me to revisit when I need to. Just a little bit of comfort and reminder of all of the special moments full of happiness and real love.
Nostalgia is a feeling of pleasure, etched with sadness, which catches me thinking about things that have happened in the past, I suppose the best way I can describe it, is, bittersweetness. No matter the hurt or the anguish, the moments of happiness and love override everything bad, and I guess in some ways, blanks out the negativity, and just allows the positive moments come to life. It protects me in a way, from the reality of what it actually is and the pain it has caused me for whatever reason it may be…Nostalgia has me praying for those moments in time again.
Whether it be music, visiting a place, a family occasion- they all act as a trigger. My absolute obsession with music means that I relate a lot of music to a certain time of my life, or a person, so for this reason, listening to music is like being in a time capsule, it can send me to all different places. Of course, I am in total control, after all, it is quite easy to skip past songs, which I do often- but on the occasions where I want to feel alive in that moment again, let’s put the whole damn playlist on for old times’ sake! There is something quite comforting about this type of feeling, especially when you are on a rollercoaster with your emotions- it is simply a reminder that, whatever happens, happiness will always find a way into life again.
The sheer amount of loss I have faced in 2020 is truly awful. My loved ones who are no longer here physically, fills me with so much grief that I could not put into words- no matter how hard I try, to people who have come in to my life and left again…Loss is loss. I am well aware that we all have the ability to bounce back and to flit between feelings of happiness and sadness, it is a part of life that we all face at some stage- a permanent state of happiness would be a wonderful thing, but it is not realistic.
Love is never lost, because in the moments that we need it the most, nostalgia will take us right back to the beginning, to the moments that matter, the moments that are stored within our hearts and minds, reminding us that life has ups and downs, but what is most important is that we can take away all of the positives, and remember the feelings of happiness, even in the saddest and darkest times of life.