I have said it before, and I will say it again: I am an intensely nostalgic person.
I often get lost reminiscing about listening to John Mayer’s “Continuum” during the summer of 2007. I long for my freshman year of college, before the novelty of it all wore off and every day felt like sleepaway camp.
This kind of reflection is perfectly innocent. Sometimes, however, I can get lost in the past. I romanticize and let myself become haunted by it all at the same time.
I hold my memories close to me. I always take pictures and videos when I am living through a moment I think I will miss one day. The thought of my camera roll getting lost in an iPhone backup is my worst nightmare.
By constantly comparing my current self to my old self, obsessively monitoring the ways I have changed, I have started to belittle my accomplishments and strength.
Recently, the collective trauma of the past year has become apparent. Our mental health is struggling, and I think the pandemic is all just now setting in as a real event that occurred.
Thankfully, I will get my second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on April 23, and after that, I promise to never say the “p-word” ever again. I am tired of saying “when all this is over.” I just want it to be so over
That is why, despite how painfully cliché it sounds, I propose we all start making an effort to look forward.
In an effort to transition back into life as we knew it, I am starting to think of things I am excited to do.
I am ready for a Renaissance: a period of rebirth. I vaguely remember learning about the Renaissance during seventh-grade social studies, but I refreshed myself on History.com.
History.com editors say, “The Renaissance was a fervent period of European cultural, artistic, political and economic ‘rebirth’ following the Middle Ages.”
After the darkness of famine, plague, Black Death and political unrest, there was a breath of fresh air through literature, art, music and economics.
We will finally get the Roaring 20s we ironically celebrated when unknowingly ringing in 2020. We will see a burst of fashion revolutions, a bounty of creative works and a community that will (hopefully) try harder to understand each other.
Sure, we will need to recover from social anxiety and the fact that talking to old friends suddenly feels like giving a speech in front of a crowded arena. We will need to accommodate people’s needs, be more patient towards those who can’t make it into the physical space of an office — a concept that seems a bit outdated.
I believe that a new Renaissance is coming. I am looking forward to doing all the things that I never thought I would want to do again: traveling to other countries, smiling at cashiers and going on a plane for the first time.
It is coming. Keep looking forward.