You tell yourself you’re not going to think about the time you spent abroad, and instead focus on making new memories and not getting fixated on the what-could-have-beens and the could-have-dones.
You avoid looking at pictures of the places you lived and where you went, and while you keep in touch with the people you met back then, you rarely, if ever, bring up the events of past times.
Because, if I’ve learned anything, nostalgia can be a severe bitch. It can alter your mood and leave you in an insane funk for days. It drives you to think about all the missed opportunities and begs you to ask yourself “if I could go back again, what would I change? What would I do?”
I try to keep myself away from that line of thinking.
But then, a post from an old friend or a picture from an acquaintance or Facebook’s “On This Day” feature pops up, and you can’t help it. You can’t. You just can’t.
I’ll always have regrets of what I didn’t do during my time in Maastricht. I will always blame myself for getting too caught up in the experience of living alone for the very first time, in a different country, trying to be liked by everyone, while also living to my unrealistic academic expectations. So much so, that I didn’t even get a chance to travel and have fun like I intended.
I lived in Maastricht for a year and yet it remained completely unfamiliar to me. I don’t know why I did this to myself.
And then there’s the other aspect. Of holding onto your memories for too long you start to immortalize them in your mind.
We threw a ton of parties and gatherings, just to entertain ourselves and have fun. I tend to portray them as the best things to have ever happened but maybe that’s just irrational wishful thinking.
And isn’t that what nostalgia is all about? Wishful thinking?