Living in the past.
Have you ever said the phrase, ‘Those were better times’? Well, rest at ease, you are not alone. Many people, especially when comparing the present with the past, especially their pasts, tend to remember the things that they miss most in that era or period. However, some researchers have revealed that our brains extract the positive memories that we have stored, and thus we believe that things ‘were better back then’ when in fact; we are just reminiscing about things we wish we could bring back. Nostalgia, defined in the English language, is the state of being homesick. We run into situations in our present lives that make us think about the earlier stages of our lives. The problem is that we cannot live in the past, we must always, willingly or unwillingly, move forward. Unfortunately, life does not slow down or stop for anyone.
There are a few reasons for this state of mind; with the way technology has advanced over the last 3-4 decades, people who have lived in these times often feel a huge gap with millennials. They cannot cope with all the new changed, or keep up with every technological update coming out; in some cases, they even turn away from new technological releases, as a way to detach themselves from everything all together. Ultimately, unbaling them to move forward with their lives; missing out on new opportunities, discoveries, and new adventures. Sometimes we just need to say, “Enough, it’s time to move forward and explore new things!”
Is it a bad thing?
Nostalgia can be a good thing when it brings back happy memories, things we love and miss. On the downside, it can have major negative drawbacks’ the problem with remembering the past, and believing that it was a ‘better time’ puts that person in a frozen state. Either they can no longer cope with all the new things getting bashed at them, or they prefer to live in denial of the new things that surround them. They prefer to just ignore these advances, and stick to what they know, instead of learning something new or changing their perspectives about things.
As much as we love to remember the past, at least the good moments, we cannot live in the past, and unfortunately, that is what some people have chosen to do. New things are coming out every day, yes it might be hard to follow every single new release, and yes, it might be hard for older people to cope with all these new changes. However, we must try to at least stay in touch with the reality that surrounds us. This also applies to political, social, and economic situations. The world has changed drastically over a very short period.
The same problem occurs in relationships too. We cling to something in the past instead of moving on. We might think that we have met the perfect match, our ‘other half’, and then tragically find ourselves losing them. It is devastating and heartbreaking, but even as we mourn our loss, we must always remind ourselves that after some time, we must move on, move forward, and leave the past behind us. Understandably, it is very difficult at times, especially in long relationships that have exerted a large personal investment. However, the key is to move forward.
Love is one of those things that is considered a double-edged sword, as much as it can bring us joy, it can also leave us devastated and in ruins. The trick is to learn that whatever the case, we reach a point that we push ourselves to move forward. We cannot keep holding onto the idea that we have lost our significant other, and that the world will stop moving or end, as heartbreaking as it is, we need to be strong enough to say, ”Its over, its time to move forward and let go of the past.’ Only by doing so will you be able to find new opportunities in your life.
The ultimate problem with being nostalgic and holding onto the past is that it binds you to that past, it prevents you from exploring new opportunities. You never know what or who you might run into when adventuring in life. The same way you met that person that made you happy, you might meet someone that makes you as happy, if not more. Let yourself indulge in new experiences; meet new people, try new things, let go of your fears and worries, let go of the past, and move forward!
We are not required to know or like every alteration that has happened, but, it is a reality, something that we cannot change. Living in the past, if even in our heads, only adds to that already existing technological and social gap that so many people cannot handle. We are living in harder times, everything has changed ever so quickly, and some people feel helpless.
As humans, we learn to evolve and mature. In this day and age, where everything evolves too fast, and some people simply feel exhausted or overwhelmed, we must adjust and cope to the best of our abilities. We might feel that the world has become extremely fast-paced and that we barely have time to enjoy anything anymore. Do not let that bring you down, do not let it keep you standing in the same place. Do not let that stop you from learning new things, do not let that stop you from exploring new areas, and most importantly, do not let that stop you from being ‘you’.
It’s okay to be nostalgic at times, but uproot yourself from the past and explore the present, and be prepared for the future. Keep moving forward!