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Inertia - Nº125
The music of nostalgia
People reveal themselves through small micro-moments. How someone does one thing is usually how they do everything. How they cook their eggs and call their parents. When they describe you, what do they say?
Sometimes, I enjoy sitting quietly in my room. Staring blankly at the wall or window, scattering imaginary introspections around my mind and trying to find meaning. We’re over the halfway point of the year (already?). And it’s around the time that I like to briefly look back at how I’ve changed from 12 months ago. And 12 months before that. And the previous 12 months before that.
The songs of nostalgia are melodies we love to have dancing in our minds from time to time. What takes you back? If you think about who you were from each of the previous years, what would they think of you? What do you think of them? Would they admire how you’ve changed? Would they hardly spot a difference?
I’ve deepened my appreciation for repetition while knowing the importance of novelty. It offers a healthy dose of wild, uncomplicated optimism and helps me appreciate the good and bad better. It takes less to be grateful: a small lake, a quiet section of a park, or a moment of silence in my home. Within these pockets of time is an amazing sense of liberation from the past to focus on what’s happening now.
But at the same time, I never used to have a candid bearing on how poetic it can be to work on the fundamentals. We tend to set and forget our habits and routines, eventually becoming desensitized to the time we spend doing them. Things such as where we agree to go, our hobbies, vocations, and self-care practices are precariously placed pillars that take chunks of our time without much thought. And I would either try to deal with them all at once or let the time pass until a serious enough problem unfolds. Making a conscious effort to focus on one at a time brings out their novelty better and helps me appreciate their importance.
I’ve learned how hard it is to be brilliant and show up and deal with what people think when I feel off the mark. You know who you are in your heart, but it can be a struggle to believe, share, or exert yourself the way you want sometimes. I’ve learned about embracing yourself, expressing your love for your art and science and labyrinth. When you take risks to have a closer and more public relationship with the parts of life you care about, good things happen more often than not. That’s harder to learn than other lessons. We worry too much about regret or embarrassment when we should be just saying to ourselves, “I'm really, really, really enjoying this journey”.
I’ve learned that compatibility is as brief and rare as connection. It can take an age to know someone, so the sooner you can establish some sense of synchronicity, the better. The processes you have with someone you love or simply vibe with act as the alchemy that supports the relationship's longevity. You both know what to expect, neither of you makes life more difficult for each other, and there is consistency.
I’ve learned that writing taught me to focus on the good in life and quickly expel things that unsettle me. Dwelling on things has no purpose. And more often than we admit, we need fresh eyes to help us see things faster or with a more holistic view. It doesn’t get more cathartic than moulding your thoughts on paper or a computer and extracting understanding. Making sense of things. Attaching emotion. Witnessing the product of all that background rumination you did while you sat amongst your friends, went for a walk, or stared at the ceiling. Writing is a restorative habit for me because it demands patience. Patience to be good at it and to weed out the lousy communication habits in me. It helps you look back when you need to. It enables you to look forward, too. The style will change over the years, as you will, and it will also stay the same. All of this ties into the conclusion that we should be in more environments and people that love the way we work and think because they will make us better in more ways than one. Everything is connected. And the things that stay constant need conscious effort and love, as those are the things that will keep you moving forward through this second part of the year and beyond.