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Periaktoi Writing Post

Volume 49
Issue 1

Single Visual Art Post

The Power of Nostalgia
Eric Wu


The Power of Nostalgia

I have always been nostalgic in my life. I have been nostalgic about my childhood, my primary school, my middle school, and a lot of other short-lived phases of my lifetime. I think of my parents who were so young, my friends who had been staying with me, and my dog that passed away a long time ago. I cherish the memories of my first home, my grandparents' old room, and the grocery store that was at the corner of the street when I was a little boy. I recall my past so often because I believe that nostalgia is crucial for me to move forward. Some people say that wallowing in the past is of no benefit to yourself. You need to look forward to the future in order to succeed. However, the way the past works out for me is the exact opposite. Instead of dragging me into the quagmire of the past, nostalgia bestows upon me the capability to grasp every beautiful moment of my present. The moment I realized how nostalgia provoked me is when I graduated from primary school. On that day, every student was asked to write a review of their entire primary school lives: the progress they had made, the places where they thought could be improved, and how they would live a better life in middle school. To my surprise, I found myself hugely disappointed in my primary school life when I looked back. I had too many things that I wanted to do but did not get to do. I wanted to go to the seaside with my friends that summer; I wanted to accept my art teacher's offer to go painting with her in the ancient town; I wanted to not fight with my parents... I yearned to have those six years back so that I could start over and amend everything. But there was no way of reversing the time track of life. Being overwhelmed by this wistful mood, I got a strong idea in my mind: I have to grasp the "now." I will make a life in which I will find nothing to repent for. Every time I succumb to the past, I am seized by a firm intention to live a more meaningful life – a positive life in which I pursue my dream, get the most out of friendship, and always walk alongside my family. I feel this way because I cannot withstand the sad fact that I missed so many precious things in the past. Empowered by nostalgia, I find it easier for me to try new things that I have never experienced before, for I know that I might only have one opportunity to do them. I have nurtured a mindset of caring for others, for I know that any fuss between my friends and me would become the subject of my pity as time lapses. For me, nostalgia is reexperiencing the past and finding faults of it; nostalgia reminds me to not make the same mistake again. Immersing yourself in the past is not as bad as some people suggest; it even benefits you. If you review the past in a proper way, you can gain a new perspective into both the present and the future. I believe in the power of nostalgia. I perceive in nostalgia; I grow in nostalgia.