Today at work I spent 9 hours working on a spreadsheet and listening to various playlists on my laptop. These playlists were ones I made in (and haven’t listened to since) college. Before I knew it, I was in the throes of the most intense nostalgia. You know, the kind where your stale surroundings start to smell like the past, and your mind is cluttered with scenes from way-back-when. These were the kind of playlists I had once subconsciously hoped would provide me with just such nostalgia some day.
As the day and the playlists progressed, I ached more and more for my college years. This happens to me once in a while, but today the nostalgia was severe. I couldn’t stop thinking about/remembering way-back-when. Back when I felt like I was experiencing everything important in the world. Back when I hadn’t really felt true heartbreak or confusion yet, but I secretly longed for those feelings. Back when my artistic floundering was actually just me being overwhelmed with ideas and choices.
By the time 1pm rolled around in the office, the nostalgia turned towards Providence (where said college-years were set). I wanted those brick sidewalks (which were hard to navigate when intoxicated) and the too-cute New England houses. I wanted the downtown riverfront, where I had walked barefoot and told secrets to new friends. I wanted the shady nautical-themed bar where I would play pool and drink Narragansett.
Don’t get me wrong–I don’t necessarily want to go back to my college days or even back to Providence. I know I’m more comfortable and a bit happier now than I was six years ago. But damn, I sometimes really miss the past.
Also, I now know I should avoid college-era playlists while I’m at work.
(It should also be said that my college years were not all daisy-lined brick sidewalks, but I have a bad/good habit of idealizing my past sometimes.)