Saturday, 1 September 2012

The Past is Tense

I often have moments where, thinking about the past and what could have been, I get pangs of melancholy. More recently, I have found myself aware of these moments and can easily dismiss them with the logic that, being the person I am with the upbringing I had, events would have turned out more or less similar regardless of minor alterations made to specific events in the distant yonder. Large differences in my personality and genetic makeup would need to take place for a more well-rounded person to have emerged to the one that exists now.

What I find strange is that when I was a depressed teenager, aged seventeen or so, I had the notion that I would look back on these moments of depression, of being lost and alone, for the rest of my life, since I knew the significance that ones late teenhood has on the rest of your life—the teenage period as a nostalgia nerve-centre, where a person reflects on how their life turned out the way it did, all the decisions they made in early youth. I was right in that I do dwell on that period often, almost ten years on now, as being a pivotal moment in my life—an unhappy one, which I knew I would never reclaim. I knew I was missing out on the experiences people of my age group were having due to my shyness and fear, and I would never be able to relive this period.

I don’t find myself feeling down for very long—I have moved on in so many ways. In many ways, I am still the same, but I am happy and contended in my life at the moment, touch wood. But I do find myself more interested in exploring this unhappy period in my fiction: it seems so significant in terms of who I am and what I want to communicate to the world. Perhaps I’ll figure out why. In the meantime, let’s lament for nostalgia: it isn’t what it used to be.