Today I walked from one side of my hometown to the other, passing along my former elementary school, my former highschool, seeing landscapes that I contemplated for as long as I can remember and smelling the same odors of pine and saltwater that I smelled when I was an infant.
God that was depressing. Next august I’ll depart from all this and start a new life in Sweden, where I’ll undertake a master degree in software technology. When people ask me why I do it, I usually answer “to get away from the past”, which never fails to trigger worried looks and hesitant questions afterward. Everybody immediately imagine gruesome tales of child molestation, extreme poverty or close ones’ deaths.
Fortunately, nothing of the sort ever happened to me. I lived an average childhood and adolescence, which was, to say the least, uneventful. But that’s exactly the crux of the problem: I can’t help but think that I didn’t live my life to the fullest. I’m already almost 21, and while I technically completed all the step of an average man of my age (I went to parties, I had a girlfriend, I traveled the world, I had sex, I moved out of my parent’s basement, I had a cat…), it just felt… unsatisfying, somehow. I went to a handful of parties. I had exactly one girlfriend. I traveled with my parents and mostly forgot what I saw, or wished I was elsewhere, or at least with someone else. I had sex… with exactly one girl; I never lived that perpetual orgy that every other teenager seems to live. I live in a dark and damp flat. My cat is… well, he’s satisfying, as cat goes, so I guess that’s something.
But I come to slowly realize that, contrarily to most people, I’m not haunted by sad memories: I’m haunted by happy ones. Rare, fleeting times where I was truly happy, making friends, chasing girls that responded in kind, eating great food, listening to amazing music, laughing, and, as Weezer said, “spending some time forever”. But it didn’t last, and then I was back to where I was.
Where I was being: alone, isolated and hoping that this kind of golden age will return soon. Which, of course, it never did. At the end my nostalgia and my isolation fed themselves, my obsession with the past preventing me from living the present. As things crumbled around me, the pool of things I regretted kept expanding, until I was entirely friendless, single and generally lonelier that I ever was, and then I simply missed my whole life. Those were pretty grim times, proving that it doesn’t take a real tragedy to send someone spiraling down the melancholy whirlwind.
But as I said, this period is about to end, and I’ll be able to start over. There’s nothing left to save here anyway: I have but a few real friends to speak of, my ex has completely moved on, there’s no group or club I’m a member of, I guess not a lot of people will notice when I’m gone, which is all the better: I hate dealing with the awkwardness of relationships that have long sailed past their expiration date.
Here’s hoping that my new life will be better than this one. Now of course I shouldn’t be too hopeful, but to be honest, I’m not nearly as brooding as this post will make you believe, so (in Bastion’s narrator’s voice) don’t you worry, don’t you worry…