Over the years, I’ve known people who view nostalgia as living in the past. In fact, I was once told by one of my best friends that I needed to grow up instead of continuing on my journey with the power rangers. I remember that mainly because she wrote it in my yearbook and I read her words over again and laughed. My laughter came about namely because one of my goals this summer is to meet the original Red Ranger, Austin St. John. And if I’m being entirely honest I still watch episodes of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers because as cheesy as they are they make me feel good when life is less than spectacular. I even enjoyed the film that came out in 2017. Power Rangers is a beautiful reboot of the original series. Though I will admit viewing new actors in the same roles by the same name was certainly different within the series, but I enjoyed it all the same.
Before I delve too deep to get out I feel the need to define nostalgia. By definition nostalgia is a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations. There’s a difference between living with nostalgia and living in the past though. Living in our pasts keeps us grounded and does not allow us to move forward. When we become stuck we cannot appreciate the present nor make plans for our futures, but living with nostalgia can lend itself to our overall happiness. We allow ourselves the comfort of watching something we have seen a thousand times. Sometimes that is desperately needed. The same feelings are evoked by reading a book throughout the years, or listening to a song. Most of the time we do not feel the same toward that particular movie, song, or book though. In fact, while they make us happy they make us think in a way we did not when we were younger.
Yesterday, I posted on my Facebook page about Drop Dead Fred being released twenty-eight years ago. And even though the math is wrong, since the film came out in 1991, this still provided myself and others a moment to reflect on some fond members of good ‘ol Fred. Our favorite moments and scenes are all different, yet we can still sit here twenty something years after our first viewings and talk about the film with a fondness. And now when I watch the film I see the defense mechanisms used with the imaginary friend and how important it is to merely be ourselves. We should always take a hold of our lives even if someone else disapproves. Plus, we should all have a friend like Janie (Carrie Fisher) who is willing to take a chair out into the hallway and beat our imaginary friends for us.
I feel that one of the reasons networks are having such success with the numerous reboots on their plate is that we know these characters. Even if they are characters we don’t necessarily agree with politically we know them. We aren’t surprised when they say something that is either pro-Trump or anti-Trump because based on the past we have an inkling of which side they are leaning. This does no make me automatically hate Roseanne or love Will & Grace more. Instead I find myself enjoying both shows and the perspectives that each of them provides even though there are times I wish the politics could be left out all together. But the truth is as much as none of us want to talk politics constantly, they are a part of life. However, even with that addition the Connors, Will, Grace, Jack, and Karen allow us to forget about the petty bullshit even if it’s for a short time.
Teen Nick has provided me a place to reminisce more than once over the years. Back in college the network would play Dawson’s Creek in the wee hours of the morning and allowed me to work on various projects while hanging out in Capeside. I once had one of my professor’s ask me, Jeffery Stepakoff who worked a great deal on the show, if the show held up. I paused before answering and he assumed that meant no, but I then explained myself. For the fans Dawson’s Creek will always hold the test of time because the show represents more than just our years as teenagers. The show represents a time period where we yearned incorporate aspects of the characters we saw on television. For me, the show made me feel normal for using so-called SAT words in real life because the characters talked like me. And there’s always a comfort in knowing we are not alone in this world no matter our age.
There are so many walks down memory lane I indulge in from time to time I will focus on in more detail this upcoming week. The point is from time to time we should indulge in something good. Like the song says, tell me something good. While there are so many clichés about the road to happiness, sometimes the road to happiness is paved with memories while we create new memories in our present. And while tomorrow is never promised, it’s important to make plans for our future so that we have something to look forward to as well as we continue to live in the present. After all, sometimes we all need a little reboot to keep us going.