Coming home after a long period away has this strange effect on you. It reminds you of how fast time passes, how nothing stays the same. You come back searching for a feeling of familiarity — expecting things to stay the same — but they rarely do. Places you used to visit, friends that you used to hang out with; they may still be there, they may not. But even if they do, often they're no longer how you remember them to be.
But that's the reality of life. People go, people change. Time brings wipes away everything as it moves forward, painting a new picture over the memories that you used to have. And at the end of the day, that is what you're left with. Memories of how things used to be. Feelings attached to those memories.
You find yourself wanting to relive those memories again, missing the innocence that once was you. There's a sense of yearning inside of you, this feeling that last time is always better than now. You used to laugh so much more back then, with an equally optimistic attitude on life.
Things just seem different now. Perhaps you're jaded. Perhaps the passage of time eroded what you once had. Maybe you've “settled down”.
You talk with your friends about how things used to be. About how things used to be much simpler. Of how life seemed so much more carefree then. Simpler. Brighter. The possibilities seemed endless back then. You were ready make it big, to live out the dreams you've always wanted to. You were so much more energetic back then. So full of hope and optimism. You felt you could take on the world. If only you of the past could see you of the present now. How surprised he would have been.
Both you and your friend laugh at the mention of those memories. Naive. That was how both of you described the selves of the past. How adulthood hit you like a painful brick. How you grew up to realise that only a few can live their dreams, and you're not one of them.
That's what nostalgia does to you, isn't it. You remember the good and forget the equally bad feeling back then. When you're 25, you wished that you were 20. And when you're 20, you wished that you're 16.
But right now, you can't help but to feel a little sense of regret and longing when you think of the past. That you could have done better. You promise yourself that after leaving home this time, you'll try again for your dream. That you won't give up. And hopefully, the next time you come back, you'll feel a little better for not letting the you of the past down.
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisschoenbohm/