Nostalgia is one of those three dollar words that likes to sneak up on you and tear you to shreds without warning. And no, I’m not talking about the execution and pronunciation of the word itself; I’m talking about the feelings that it brings forth at what can only be described at the most inopportune moments.
It’s safe to say that with a little under a week until I arrive safely in my west coast home, I am feeling the word, and everything it encompasses, in heaping amounts. If you know me well, then you probably realize that emotions and I don’t exactly mesh in the purest of senses. I block them out, and they like to suffocate me when everything begins to get too much. Suffice to say the past couple of weeks have been a bit overwhelming.
It all can be traced back to that pesky little thing called nostalgia.
I could make a list really, of all the encompassing moments, but I’ll stick to the basics to spare any unnecessary time and boredom.
The first time I noticed my reminiscing occurred months ago, and it was all because of a car. A gold-hued Honda Accord flew past as I walked along the sidewalk, and I felt an unexpected lurch nestled deep within my chest. Unaccustomed to the sudden pinch of one of my most used muscles, I carried on. It wasn’t until a second occurrence was performed in such the same manner that I realized the feeling for what it was. I mentioned ‘sneaking’ previously in terms of emotions, and that was exactly what had happened to me. I missed my parents, and a car similar to their own in both model and color reminded me of that fact. Calling the involved circumstances rude in any form would be an oversight, because it all caused me to smile even if the pang in my chest tried to tell me I felt otherwise.
It’s more than just seeing cars similar to those of my loved ones. It’s sitting on a bus bench, bored and waiting at seven in the morning, and realizing that every person I want to talk to is still sleeping. It’s seeing an Ethiopian, Thai, or Indian restaurant along various streets, and remembering eating out with close friends and laughter shared over drinks. It’s climbing into the passenger seat of a friend’s car and realizing that I’m not the one driving, even though I very much want to be. It’s making new memories with new people, but still clinging to old friends and thoughts at the same time. Sometimes it’s even sitting alone in my apartment, a full bowl of popcorn in my lap, and realizing there’s no one there to share it with.
Admittedly that last one isn’t so much longing, because I’m a greedy glutton at the best of times, and being able to gorge myself on the entirety of fresh popped kernels is something I probably will cherish until my dying days. But I digress.
These feelings are fresh and bursting inside of me at the strangest of moments, and most of the time they make me laugh at memories but there are other times when I just don’t know what to do with them. I was not prepared for this, and while some of my friends might have jokingly called me the ‘Ice Queen’ a time or ten because I’m closed off at the best of times, I know they realize I’m not entirely a robot. But maybe, just maybe, I’m only just now beginning to realize that myself. I’m only partially kidding here. Sort of.
I’m only human, and I come with my fair share of faults, and there is, after all, a reason that The Grinch has always been one of my favorite tales.
But hey, at least I’ll be home for Christmas.