is nostalgia useful?

Gabe Saporta (of Midtown and Cobra Starship fame) once wrote a long post on his now purged tumblr entitled ‘nostalgia is the failure of true emotion‘. The post, which I will have to paraphrase from memory, wasn’t dissimilar in intention to the truism that “remember when?” is the lowest form of conversation. It’s not a real or immediate feeling, it’s a memory of a one. It’s a failure to live in and experience the current moment, and as such, it’s not mindful and it’s not authentic.

I’m not certain I agree with this, but I am a person who has lived the majority of her life drowning in nostalgia. I’m not sure what it is about me that makes me so achingly backwards-looking, but I only need a distance of about six months to romanticise a past that was, at the time, unbearable. In this way, nostalgia has been a curse since my early teens – I have never truly been able to appreciate the time in which I’m living because I’m always certain that other times were infinitely better.

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