Recently I’ve had to chance to live a few memories, more like feelings that are familiar rather than true memories of a moment. My teenage nephew has been very interested in making a costume that resembles a character from Guardians of the Galaxy. This character has a walkman with him, for those of you reading that might not know what this is. A Walkman was a cassette player that we could walk around with to listen to our music with. Earphones and a bag of some sort in order to hold your cassettes if you wanted to listen to more than one while you were out. We thought we were on the cutting edge when we had one, or even a knock-off version of it.
With this costume, he had a friend give him a version of a walkman but he had no cassettes. So here come the memories, I have a large box of my old tapes, full album tapes (I know, not the same), 12″ mix commercial versions, cassingles (remember these?) and of course the homemade mix tape. I don’t know exactly how many are in there but there are enough to fill a nice shipping box.
I pulled the box out while my nephew watched, he had never actually held a cassette tape let alone seen one in person. As painful as it was for me, I enjoyed every bit of him discovering something old and new at the same time. He dove into the stack, some of the names he knew while a lot of others he didn’t know at all. Of course, he wanted the music of those that he knew but I just wasn’t ready to part with them.
Nostalgia had kicked in, while not full force yet, it still had started ticking. That night I ended up purchasing what looks like a walkman but it transfers the music to your computer. This is where the nostalgia really set in. Listening to the same music that I listened to back in the 80’s made me feel warm and fearless again, no I wasn’t a teenager back then but I was in my prime. Strong in my convictions and feeling, most of the time, in control of my life. No, things weren’t always going my way but I didn’t feel the entire weight of the world yet either. My innocence wasn’t completely gone back then and my eyes still shined hope.
This music makes me feel like things are possible and I know that’s crazy talk or maybe just the memory of that feeling. It’s funny how sometimes a memory isn’t something in our mind that we see, but a feeling or even smell at times. I like how this feels but I don’t know how to keep it. Can we keep them or do they just go away until we remember then again?
I want this feeling to stay forever! “The Good O’l Days”, that’s what they feel like even though I know I went through a lot of hard knocks back then. Maybe what I’m feeling is the wish to go back and tell myself what to do and definitely what not to do. Maybe it’s not truly nostalgia but instead a yearning to correct some of the things that I’ve done so that I can have a different outcome. I didn’t do anything horrible or against the law, but just decisions that charted the course of my life. I would have spent more time with my mother and not had a boyfriend that was horrible to me. I would have focused more on getting ahead at my job, although I think without the boyfriend then that would have been okay.
Maybe we all do this at some point in our life, look back and wish we had done things differently. I love what memories can do and then again, I don’t like what they make me realize sometimes. Do you think we’d be better off by not remembering? I’ll admit I don’t remember things like other people say they do. It seems like it takes things to trigger a memory with me; a sound, a place or even a smell. Painful memories are the ones that stay around with me and that I definitely don’t like so maybe that’s why I don’t remember the good ones as much either. I’m trying to force the bad ones away and the good memories get swallowed up with the push.
There are more good memories lately than there are painful so that is good. I’ll try to have more good now and see if I remember them or not. I guess only time will tell, if I remember.