We can chase the past but never catch it. That’s the tragedy of nostalgia.
I wish I could live history. I wish I could go to a Cubs game in 1973 and drink Old Style in the bleachers under the sweltering July sun. I wish I could watch Star Wars in a hometown theater. I wish I could experience Nintendo on a wooden console TV after it first came out.
I chase simulations of these experiences. I envy those who lived through these times, because I did not.
I yearn for simpler times, or at least times that seemed simpler looking back though the prism of time. I find it ironic that I chose this quote from Picard for my yearbook: “Seize the time. Live now. Make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again.” I thought this quote prescient, but it’s more meaningful now that it was to me at 18.
Now will never come again. Soon it will be the subject of nostalgia and perhaps be yearned for itself. Chasing the past is dangerous to the present. It can rob you of memories and experiences you can have now a look fondly upon in the future. Now truly is the most precious time.
All times have their struggles, but It’s what we do despite them that defines us in the future for ourselves and posterity.
Seize the time you have. Live now.