By Sacha Kohler
When I was twenty years old, I left Montana to move back in with my parents.
Let’s take it back a second, actually. When I was eighteen, I moved to Montana to get away from my parents.
I had no idea what I wanted to go to college for, but I was going to college and I figured that was worth something, and it got my parents off my back about getting a higher education. Plus, it got me out of their house and hundreds of miles away where I could “be my own person” and “find myself” and cliche, stereotypical bullshit like that. The problem is, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and ended up dropping out after the first year. To this day, I’m a twenty something, with a solid job, support system, living, and I still have no idea what I want to do. But that’s a story for another day. After a few years of floating around, I found myself lapsing into this downward spiral of bad choices, self loathing, and just needed to get away from where I was. Which I did. My dad was getting a job transfer and it was the perfect time for me to tag along and avoid staying in my hometown while still being in the comfort of my parents.
Which leads me to being twenty years old and leaving Montana to move back in with my parents. It sounds like this would be an easy decision. I wasn’t in Montana a considerably lengthy amount of time, and since I’d dropped out and had no commitments, there was really no reason to stay. But it was one of the hardest things I had to do.
I made a lot of close friends there. I fell in and out of love, I stepped towards being a less toxic, trash fire of a human, and I made one of the best decisions of my life which was; leaving Montana to move back in with my parents. Being twenty and going from living on my own back to the nest, didn’t sound like the best of plans, considering I was originally going to make my way out to Seattle and mess around for a bit, but staying home turned out to be the more responsible option. It gave me the ability to work on myself and fine tune skills that set me on a decent career path. It helped me find out what I like in friends and what I don’t, what I like in partners and what I don’t, what I like in myself and what I don’t. But before all this, and even some days after, there were moments where I would find myself crying in the middle of the night because I wanted so badly to go back.
Before everything was (sorta) smooth sailing, I was lonely, I was still working on the traits and ways of thinking that made me a bad person, I was living with my parents, not going to school, and feeling so far behind, while when I was on my own, I had a decent income, friends, and a semi-stable support group. These are all things I achieved once I got rolling. They weren’t things that were gone forever or out of reach, they were just things I missed having and didn’t want to have to build them back, and it would’ve been so much easier to just pack up and return to the familiar.
The thing is, though, the bad outweighed the good. And I knew that, which is why I never went back. If I had stayed, I probably would’ve figured myself out, things would have gotten better but it would’ve taken a lot longer. And, ultimately, the things I want to do with my life, I can’t do a lot of where I was. It’s hard not having friends, it’s hard having to recreate your scene, and it’s hard having to deal with being in a new place. I get it.
Nostalgia makes us feel the way it does because while you know things were bad, the reason you miss it is because at one point they were good. Maybe even great. Whether it’s a person or a place or time, yeah, you moved on, but those good memories are so prominent, it’s hard not to want it back. And it’s a hard lesson I had to learn recently. I’ve been planning to go back for my birthday and see some people that are still left. And while a couple were more keen and at least acted happy to hear I was going to be in town, most couldn’t care less if I had paid them, which stung. I don’t blame them, it’s been a few years and when I left I wasn’t on the best of terms with certain people, but it hurt. And admittedly, I cried. And some of you reading this may call me a weak bitch and maybe you’re right, but here’s the thing:
It hurt because with nostalgia, you remember there were times where you knew damn near everything about someone. Their hopes and dreams, why they liked and disliked their family, what their bad habits were and how they picked them up, their anxieties, and how they talk when they’re lonely. But people change as quick as the seasons. And maybe you left that place because there was nothing left worth staying for, or maybe you left because it’s what was best for you. And maybe you don’t talk to those people anymore because they did you dirty, or maybe you don’t talk anymore because YOU did them dirty, but it doesn’t change the fact that at some point you and that person, or those people were close. It doesn’t stop the yearning for that same feeling from creeping into your very core late at night or at noon when you hear a song that reminds you of that time.
I think that’s the point of nostalgia. To remind you that, the rain fell and the sun came out, and things were good until they weren’t. The truth is, you may not get those times back. You may never get that closure or get to issue that apology, but people may shed the same tears as you, wondering where things turned wrong. But some may not.
That’s just the reality of it.
The internet will tell you not to reach out. Kind of like texting a recent ex, you just shouldn’t do it, because, obviously, depending on the situation, it’s probably best just to leave the dust where it settled. If not, I think you should reach out. Go back. And screenshot me the results, because me and my #teamextra ass need to know the dirt. I’ve decided, even with the few negative reactions, the positives are still worth planning for. My memories may not serve me and I may be disappointed and wonder why in the hell I’m spending gas money on driving up there, but at least then I’ll have the peace of mind knowing that I did the right thing in leaving it all behind.
And that’s good enough for me to give into the nostalgia.
About the author:
Sacha Marie is a twenty-something writer doing her best to achieve her dreams of interviewing Nathan Sykes and Justin Bieber. She currently resides in Seattle, where she writes articles about crying in workplace bathrooms, and spends her free time looking at french bulldogs, and being a proud member of #teamextra. You can follow her on twitter and instagram @staycheesyx
Photo courtesy of Jay Dantinee/Unsplash