How is it possible to be nostalgic for something that hasn’t even passed? To miss a place, a feeling, before it’s even gone. How it overshadows your present and burdens your subconscious as your thoughts are tainted by the heavy sentiment. Like a storm cloud forming in the distant, its thunderous presence looming in the foreground. I try to convince myself to focus on the present and to be alive in the moment – just in the single moment I exist in. To appreciate every cobblestone pathway I walk, every seemingly nonchalant glance out the window, and every overheard conversation in a language so beautiful but foreign to my tongue.
I’m so fully aware of how awarding attention to my future heartache will only dim the brilliance from my present joy. I come to a resolution to opt for ignorance, as it will segue into a state of bliss where I need not heed to my apprehension.
I source my fear for estrangement from ardour for my present, as the intimacy I feel with my life in this very moment is the origin of my nostalgia. My throat tightens and my eyes swell at the prospect of leaving the home I created for myself, the life I’ve established outside of my roots. Like a passionate love affair with an old friend, my longing for my present is offset by my dismay of conclusively growing apart. It’s as if I’m homesick for my present, knowing rightfully so that at a certain time I will have to move forward and let go. I recognize as I mourn my present before it’s gone, making it a distant memory before it’s even given a chance to be. Yet in this wistful sadness of losing what I hold so dearly, I grow rich in my appreciation for the moments I exist in.
In this very moment, I recognize how years from now I will look back in retrospect and wish that I hadn’t allowed this sense of homesickness to occupy my young mind.
I console myself with a bittersweet truth. Much like the tides in the ocean or the clouds in the sky, time will march on inexorably, but I have the controls to what melody is playing. I can torment myself by yearning for the present, wishing in foolishness for a “pause” on the details which bring me such happiness. I can waste my time, life’s greatest and most mysterious gift, and eclipse the marvels of all that surrounds me. And so I ask myself, how unparalleled must the beauty in my life be that I’m able to feel such feelings for its loss before its gone?
I have the choice to live in my present or to live in my memories of the present. Though the future is uncertain, it’s built of and transformed by how I choose to live right now. I trust in purpose and I trust in time. I choose wholeheartedly to encompass my being with cheerful sentiment and people who challenge my thoughts. And I choose to cherish every sight, sound, and scent which characterizes my present, and ultimately, who I am today.
This post is inspired by my formative experience of living and working in one of my favorite cities in the world, Paris. In French, “lointain souvenir” translates to a “distant memory.” I chose this title because I find that in mourning what isn’t gone, you prematurely make it a distant memory because your mind is so preoccupied with living in the past. I hope that in my stream of words, I’ve inspired you to choose the melody which most brightens your present, rather than haphazardly worrying about letting go of a moment in time.
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