"Your biting sarcasm wounds me, Madam..."

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Blogging as Therapy.

I have been in my own head for too long, I think.

Nostalgia hits me at certain times during the day, every day, for an undetermined amount of time. Generally, I think back to old memories with a sense of longing and regret. EVERY DAY. There are a handful of people, and times in the past that I miss terribly and at this point in my life, really have no business going back to. Yet, I go on missing them as if i would be happy if i were still living as i did back then. I'm sure there's some kind of psycho-babble name for this, and after a few years of therapy I would be able to work through this overwhelming feeling of regret and loss I have over the past.

But, see, I never thought that it was an overwhelming feeling until I stopped to take notice of the thought process the other day. I mean, this is just nuts.

For awhile, I thought that maybe it was because I was unhappy with where I was in my life. Until I realized that I have been doing this for many years, to the point where now, I reminisce about what was going on in my life, at other times that I was reminiscing about what I had done before that. Do you follow? This has been going on consistently for years.

Am I just perpetually unsatisfied with what is going on around me? I mean, this shit goes back to when I was about 16, which was likely the beginning of a bunch of years of having really good friends and a lot of fun; all of which I miss. A lot.

Especially the friends. All of them are gone at this point, all of them moved away, one by one, to other parts of the country, one of which left the country entirely (who is in fact the person who gave me the name for my blog via an e-mail subject sent when he was overseas). Granted, he is back in the states now, living in Boston and coming back to the island in a month or two - whatever, that's not the point. Almost the entire group (or groups) of friends I had are gone and I've lost touch with most of them. Some, I lost touch with before they even left, either due to (haha- go figure) boyfriend problems or other assorted rifts. But no matter what, I have usually regretted losing their friendship, if only because of the good times we shared in the past.

Ex-boyfriends are another source of contemplation, granted some more than others, and even stranger still, are the 'ones who could've been' that still wander across my mind. The ex's and should-have-been-ex's are only occasional or even seasonal sometimes - usually brought on by things I see, hear or smell (yeah, smell - isn't that lovely?) If I smell clove cigarettes in the cold weather, I think of S. If I see a bonfire, I think of N or T. Etc.

Songs are the leading culprit as far as memory triggers for me, as I'm sure they are for many people. Songs have a way of instantly bringing me right back to the time I was listening to it regularly, or when it was being pounded to death on the radio. Many of these can go back to when I was a kid and singing along to Simon and Garfunkle records or listening Queen on the tape deck while playing games on the Commodore 64 with my brother.

Usually what happens is I will hear a song on the radio that I never expect to hear* while driving home for lunch in the middle of the day. Just the other day, Faith No More's "Falling to Pieces"** came on, which I hadn't heard in years. I played this song religiously for a month or so during a particularly troubling time at the tender age of 18, so of course while i was driving home, I was dropped right back there: Lying in bed in my room at mom's, with the door closed, lights out and this song on repeat, dissecting the lyrics. Feeling all of the same discomfort and dread I did at the time over having to make a choice between (haha) my boyfriend and (oops) his best friend.

Even painful times have become fond reflections of emotion I don't wish to relive, but I cherish just the same. The sadness, confusion, even depression of certain times in my life are all interwoven with very important times in my life that I wouldn't give up for anything in the world. All of these events are what made me the way I am today, and for that, I am grateful to the people who may have contributed to these particularly awful times.

When I went to the beach on Tuesday with my friend, Orelinde, from work, I somehow started telling her the story of one summer, seven years ago, and she was a little shocked that I had such drama in my past. My life right now is so mundane in comparison, that it seems hard to believe that there was a long time when I didn't sit still for days. When I did stop moving it was because I was sleeping through entire days. Sleeping through work, sleeping through college finals. Awful.

I told her of a very turbulent time in my life where a certain S, whom I loved rather deeply (without any sort of actual commitment from him), maybe lost his shit a little. I decided to distance myself from S and met MB, which only sent S a little more over the edge. So much so, that he got my brother involved in a messy, bizarre 'intervention' (god, i can still picture it) because someone had started rumors that MB was trying to "take me away from my family". It was a strange, dramatic episode that for years I tried to block out because it was just so awful and embarrassing. In the end, it drove S away to another state, 4 hours away, so that he could get a new start and maybe put his head back together. Which he did, actually, and seems mostly better now than he was then.

Sometimes I wonder if this nostalgic kick I've been on for the past 10 years or so will ever put itself to rest. Sometimes I wonder if that's what I would want. Is it better to forget everything you've been through, or constantly be haunted by the past?

*Owning an XM radio, I get to hear a lot of songs that I never expected to hear again, which is kind of cool, considering that the regular radio plays the same shitty playlist over and over and over again for years and years.

**Shut up. I LOVED Faith No More and was terribly upset that I only got into them shortly before they broke up. Lucky for me, I got to see them on their last tour and bask in the greatness that was Mike Patton. Shut up.


  • i didn't know you were at that show at Roseland. So was I...

    By Blogger s, at 8/15/2006 3:04 PM  

  • S - really? i was! i didn't know you were there. i'm surprised we never covered this; i must have just assumed you weren't into FNM. I was right there in the front...left-ish.

    that was a really great show...

    By Blogger claire, at 8/15/2006 3:08 PM  

  • Sorry things aren't more cheerful for you...I go through these nostalgia episodes too. And then I remember that back then, during those times that I am nostalgic for, I was always looking forward to the future. The Catch-22-ness of it all.

    At least the blogging, unlike the therapy, is cheap.

    By Blogger Christine, at 8/16/2006 8:55 AM  

  • C, how old are you? I found a lot of that kind of thinking permeated my 20s. I think the 20s are about revisiting the past and taking a look at who you are and how you got here, and when you remember things, the memories are more wallow-like, and you spend more time wondering what might have been. Your 30s - or at least what little experience I have with them - are more about enjoying who you are and enjoying those memories for the experience, not to wax philosophical about regrets.

    I hope I'm making sense and not sounding holier than thou - I was honestly just thinking about this the other day. Someone told me this would happen when I was younger, and I'm truly shocked to find out that it's true.

    In other words, what you're doing is completely normal, and part of our lives, I think. And I swear to you, I do not mean that in a dismissive way.

    By Anonymous jonniker, at 8/16/2006 10:35 AM  

  • christine - i don't know if i'm not cheerful in my life right now. I'm not unhappy, i don't think. I just always feel i was happier in the past than i am in the present. i hope this goes away.

    jonniker - no 'holier than thou' coming through at all. that's actually very helpful. As long as there is hope that this is 'normal' i feel a lot better about it. I'm 25, so stuck right in the middle of the wallowing. thank you. :)

    By Blogger claire, at 8/16/2006 12:09 PM  

  • i read this when it first came out and i was too chickenshit to comment, but i thought about it a lot.
    i don't do the reminiscing thing for the simple fact that i don't have as much to look back on fondly.
    i say go right ahead and remember. as long as it's not interfering with your everyday normal life, what the hell?

    By Blogger First Nations, at 8/17/2006 11:41 AM  

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