Friday, May 8, 2009


"Nostalgia has an expiration date."

That was a quote from my brother. He was cleaning up his room before moving out to college and had been piling a lot of old mementos into the trash. He was moving on and cleaning out the old to make room for the new.

In some ways I really agree with him. I've noticed recently that I have no memory of most days. They fit the pattern like most of the others with small differences, but on the whole it all just blurs together. Life has become more about the routine and the long term effect of habits over individual unique experiences.

But there are some times when that's not true. I'll eat a certain food, drive by a certain location or hear a certain song and it'll trigger a memory. Only those truly happy times really stick that well, and when I remember them is when I get that feeling of nostalgia.

This morning I heard 'Ants Marching' by the Dave Matthews Band and it triggered a memory of my brothers and I all hanging out in the basement of my parent's house. It seems so long ago at this point, but it was some of the happiest times in my life. Just like now, there are problems you are dealing with or things you are struggling to accomplish, but something about that camaraderie just resonates deeply inside.

At this point we are all much older. Our lives are further developed, our interests and social networks expanded further away from each other. Our situations and responsibilities much different. Those times have long past.

The thought makes me sad. In life there is always going to be change. You can only hold onto people, places or things for so long before the expiration date comes.

It is comforting though to know that even when everything else starts to be forgotten, some memories will always remain.

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