I am nostalgic. There, I said it. I live in the present, but I am fueled by my past. Every day I live, I draw upon themes from the days that have passed before me. Everything from music to TV, movies to snacks, board games to AIM – I ride the cloud upon which I was raised, seeking some sort of associative security, some sort of comfort. Those were the times of innocence, back when authenticity was real. Looking back, we see those emotions as real. And we still feel their effects.
In this post-ironic age, we still remember these feelings. We still remember the rush of our first kiss. We still remember the first time we lost a tooth. We still remember the first time we saw an R rated movie.
-Watching Doug on Nickelodeon?
-Trying to understand Doug’s beatnik sister?
-Eating Dunkaroos and Lunchables?
-Taking Flintstones chewable vitamins?
-JOing to Britney Spears?
-Going to roller rinks holding hands with your girl crush so you wouldn’t fall down?
-Spending the night with your first girlfriend?
-Going to prom in a ridiculous limo?
-Not understanding Rocko’s Modern Life?
-Chatting on AIM all night instead of doing homework?
-Listening to the sound your dial-up modem made?
-Listening to Vitamin C’s Graduation song/Green Day’s Good Riddance before your graduation?
-Slow dancing to O-Town’s All or Nothing/Eve 6′s Here’s to the Night?
-Watching all the girls in your class obsess about The O.C./One Tree Hill?
-When everyone had a Razr phone?
-When everyone had a Razor scooter?
-Getting all your music from NOW?
-Deciding which seat to take?
-Watching Boy Meets World?
-Crushing on Lindsay Lohan in The Parent Trap?
-Watching Shia Labeouf in Even Stevens?
-Learning things from the Simpsons?
-Watching the Mark McGuire-Sammy Sosa homerun contest?
-Watching Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman, and Scotty Pippen play for the Bulls?
-Watching Michael Jordan play for the White Sox?
-Watching Space Jam?
-Flying on planes without the extra security?
-Using VHS tapes and Walkmans?
-Buying CDs from your local record store?
-Hiding puberty boners from classmates behind binders?
I miss those days. But I feel like they weren’t as good as I remember. It was just life back then, just the daily routine. They didn’t have the same emotional weight back then that they do now. And someday I’ll look back at this era of my life, my time at Yale, and romanticize it in some excessively long listicle. But regardless, we still feel the power of nostalgia, the pull of those emotions, the template upon which we live our lives now. These things have made me who I am now, regardless of how real or not they were at the time. This is my post-authentic childhood.