Friday, November 21, 2008

Looking back, as usual

I am such a sucker for nostalgia. It amazes me in a lot of ways. Mainly in the way that, as I am making all these memories, I think nothing of them. But then, when I get in that mood - that warm, excited mood that comes with reliving the good parts of my past - they all flood back in a kind of sepia-tinted rush. Memories and colors fill my head andI feel a very particular sensation of good old times.

I was looking through my folder of saved e-mail correspondences, and I found one I kept in 2004 with a guy who read my blog. I was taking Latin over the summer at Berkeley, and I think I linked to his site, having followed the bread crumbs of other ATDP (Berkeley's Academic Talent Development Program) blogs to find it. He was very encouraging, complimenting me on my maturity and writing style, which sounds so child molesty and suspicious, but it was completely harmless. We definitely had similar ways of thinking, and it interests me so much to look back at the person I was when writing those e-mails back and forth, and to think about how much he has probably changed too. (I don't read his members-only blog anymore, for fear of finding a less idealized version of him than the one I knew back then through our e-mails. Silly, I know.)

Knowing this fixation on my own pathetic autobiography is so present worries me a little. Maybe I'm too stuck in the past. The present certainly never seems like much while I'm living it.

...Well, that's not entirely what I mean.

What I mean is that, while I'm in the present, I feel like I'm not accomplishing anything. And that is a very pessimistic, very me way of seeing things. Because surely I am accomplishing things all the time. I won't try to instill this reflection with any silly, self-comforting pride, but things do happen in my life, and whether they are huge, impressive awards or epiphanies or not, they are part of my progressing life. I don't need to feel held back or unaccomplished just because I am not making the great strides that others take pride in.

This may be turning into a grand glorification of laziness.

I guess the thing that this all relates to is Paris, Je T'Aime. I watched it for the first time today, and I felt a strange connection with the woman in the short film about falling in love with Paris. She speaks French with sort of an endearingly terrible accent and is quite a simple person, all things said and done. And all she wants is someone to share things with, someone to share Paris with. She doesn't find someone in the five minutes of the film; it's not really that kind of optimism. The optimism of the short film though, comes at the end, when she realizes, sitting alone on a bench eating a sandwich in a comfortably busy park, that she and Paris are falling in love. That's the kind of person I think I am.

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