Note — I had a really great post here about the difference between nostalgia and actual memory, prompted by my recent 15 year high school reunion.
Then WordPress didn’t save it and the page weirdly reloaded and now it is gone.
I am very sad because I don’t think I can really recreate what I wrote.
This old post on nostalgia will have to suffice.
Points I guess I was trying to make… growing up is it’s own special brand of trauma, even though it is lauded as a natural experience. The truth of our middle/high school experience is not our nostalgia. Nostalgia only uses memories of events when it fits correctly with the narrative of sweet wistfulness. Nostalgia is watching The Craft, listening to Sublime, and looking at pictures that showed up in old Delia’s catalogues. Nostalgia is what sells because it generally feels good, though it is dangerous to long for something that never existed.
I have access to a lot of my school-age memories because I’ve kept them alive to reconnect with my students. I purposely separate my nostalgia from my memories and I’m aware that one is “fact” or “true” and the other is not, a narrative and series of feelings woven into a blindfold that we can choose to put on.
In other news, the reunion was VERY FUN because I saw some of my good friends and got to rock in the hammock I made out of my nostalgia-tapestry I’ve woven over the years. The truth wasn’t important, factual memory wasn’t important, who was friends or did or didn’t get along back then was not important at our gathering.
Also it’s pretty cool to drink in what used to be the library of your middle school.
I really wish this dumb website would have saved my awesome post. WordPress, you are on my LIST right now.