Nostalgia for the past
An impossible yearning, a longing to go back as life pushes us ever forward. As we sit reminiscing over a particular scent, a ritual that once promised our biggest smile of the day, the poignant sound of a song, or the sight of a certain coffee mug that launches us into a time gone by. Welling up inside, the nostalgia for the past can at times overwhelm you with a sense of loss that knocks the wind out of you.
Those Were the Days
There’s just something about the good ol’ days. But what is it that draws us towards the old stuff? Vintage cars, old guitars, the rustic cabin and the wood fire; the many things past their prime or abandoned by their original owner. Even entirely obsolete, and yet, there’s a certain charm, comfort, and mystique to the time-worn.
There’s a sense of looking back to happier times when life was simpler, and things were made to last. Vintage tells a story, has a rich history, and a carries a more humanistic feel because of the craftsmanship taken in making things. Nothing will ever be as good as it used to be.
Undiscovered and Secret Places
The good ol’ days weren’t consumed by mindless social media, they were filled with in-person connections, people made things instead of buying things, and there wasn’t a sense of urgency about most happenings. Secret places were only heard about through word-of-mouth, and you could still find un-touched powder, an undiscovered music scene, or a hidden swimming hole. It’s nearly impossible to get lost in the world today, with little mystery and nothing undiscovered.
Character, Soul, and a Story
When something has endured a long stretch of time, it collects character, stories, and develops a precious depth of soul. Much like when examining old trees—impressive at a distance, and even more intriguing because they’ve stood the test of time through harsh weather, disease, and wars; if these trees could speak, how many stories they could tell. Rich with life, a diverse habitat teeming with insects, fungi, lichen, birds and other creatures.
Classic cars are another greatly underappreciated treasure these days. Young people turn their nose up and say “If they were any good, they’d still be made.” As an artist I appreciate that these old cars were made by designers who used pencil and paper to create elegant shapes and flowing lines that would just not be possible on the mass-produced computer-based methods of today. Things weren’t made in a wind tunnel, the shapes were created by craftsmen using simple tools complemented by decades of experience. A true art form. And then there is the experience of driving a classic car, requiring a great deal of manual input from the driver, it was a more immersive and engaging experience. So too was the maintenance, you could actually get familiar with and work on your car yourself…a lost art these days.
Music… Don’t get me started. I’m sure I will offend some people, but whatever. The majority of music today is crap. We’ve lost the simple art of making music. Now it’s about marketing strategies, new fancy FX plugins, autotune, and electronic beats created with the click of a button. Gone are the days of laying on the floor with pure guitar sounds and raw talent. Live shows are hardly witnessed through ones own eyes, but rather seen through the lens of a smartphone, fully documented for social media.
And then there are the older people. Like the classic car with its patina, beautifully time-worn leather, and endless stories, an older person cuts through the b.s. and offers an honest and simplistic friendship. They are not needlessly complicated as their modern counterparts. We’re all just people after all. The word old has connotations of deterioration and being passé. But this ageism doesn’t capture the many different arcs a human life can take, and the unique individual. It’s more about how you connect. If you both love the same music and activities; have similar values, likes and dislikes; the same sense of humour; things are never awkward and you can talk about anything and everything, that’s really what matters. Having things in common—and some striking differences too—creates interesting conversation.
Fascinating, enriching, and heart-warming connections can be had with those older than you. Spend time with someone older and you will come to the realization that one day, that will be you. Giving your life perspective, the gap between now and then becomes strikingly narrow. Friendships with older—and younger—people help broaden your perspective.
People tend to stick to their own age group when socializing and meeting new people. They get caught up in the trends, the material stuff, and the notion they’ll be young forever. It is however, when you are confronted with a great measure of age difference that the things which truly matter come into focus. You are humbled by what you don’t yet know and the fortunate position you currently hold by being in your prime. You come to understand that happiness and connection is found through simple things; a smile, a laugh, a good story, and someone who genuinely listens.
For the one who is older, having a younger friend also broadens their perspective. Generally being a little more in touch with what’s new, what’s current and what’s trending, the younger person provides insight into what the younger generation is thinking and feeling, offering you a footing in the direction the world is going, and sometimes introducing you to new and interesting things.
The old soul
While being drawn towards things outside your time might have its benefits, such as approaching the world with an open mind, it does come with some difficulties too. Most people think if you as a little bit strange…your peers likely don’t understand you, and perhaps lump you into the “old” category. While your older friends, although they are less judgemental, nudge you backwards… into No Man’s Land. Often on the outside looking in, the feeling of being misunderstood and that you don’t really belong anywhere can at times be a lonely price to pay…
Just like your unconventional tastes, over time you get used to being different. And take pleasure in defying people’s expectations with the path you choose in life. As you learn to believe in your own uniqueness and are unbashfully yourself, the right opportunities will unfold.