Experiencing Nostalgia

maxresdefaultI’m taking a little break from my studies, to write/share my thoughts for today. Please excuse my usual rambling, I’ll try to keep it to a minimum! ^_^v

I often find myself referring back to fond memories of my childhood or actively seeking it out in old media files or videos on YouTube. Whenever I am reminded of a melody, taste, sound, or emotion of my past, I always become a little bit giddy and sigh, “Those were the good old days…”

The funny thing is, my childhood was a horror, it was full of chaos, to be honest. The reality of my so called “good old days” were simply small moments in time where I could smile and to collect myself within the terrible situations I was forced to grow up around. However, when my nostalgia hits, it doesn’t stop me from losing temporary touch with reality and to sigh, “The good old days… I wish I could back to them!” No… no, I really don’t wish it.

zerotolerance_segaI do return back to reality, remembering both sides of a memory, not just the warm and fuzzy bits. It’s not uncommon that nostalgia can have an euphoric high on someone. The act of over romanticizing the past can happen to those who’ve suffered much worse than me or grew up within war zones.

It turns out that, according to some scientific research and news articles, nostalgia can counteract depression and anxiety. Sometimes, people who reminisce about the “good old days” are actually helping themselves against the negative affects of mental illness. If you wish to learn more about that, there are links included below, at the end of this post.

I do suffer with some mild depression from time to time. And I most definitely do suffer with an anxiety disorder. Every time I feel nostalgia, it does make me feel a lot better, about 90% of the time.

One my favorite Youtubers would be: Nostalgia Critic, because he tends to review the movies, TV shows, commercials, and video games I’ve enjoyed in my youth. In spite of the fact that he often gives a bad review (in other words, to criticize as his title would suggest) for many of the things that I had loved as a child! O_O

However, he does it in a hilarious way and articulates his point of view on why he didn’t enjoy a film, video game, and so on. I can comfortably laugh and comment, “That was pretty funny, NC. I still believe that The Matrix, Sailor Moon, and The Power Rangers were the best things of my youth… besides Ghostbusters, of course. But I can see your point on why you personally didn’t like it. And that’s okay.”  I wish all YouTube comments could be this civil.

My nostalgia doesn’t end with visual media, my mind seem to hold onto music and lyrics that I’ve hadn’t thought of since my teens or younger age. Often, I will gain a flashback of some melody or if I hear a song from my past, I seem to remember the lyrics and melody all at once as if I’ve never forgotten it. For me, this is part of the thrill of nostalgia, when I find myself humming the melody and knowing the lyrics perfectly to a song I haven’t heard in over a decade.

Several months ago, a tune began to play within my mind and I knew that the memory belonged to a Sega Genesis game, somewhere in the 90’s. I have a vivid memory of resting in front of the TV,  a cool summer breeze entering the room from my open window, and I was daydreaming about traveling into outer space, as this melody played in a loop. The song haunted me and I couldn’t remember the name of the game, for many weeks.

Later I remembered that the Sega game was called “Generations Lost” and I spent a few hours trying to find that chiptune (18-bit music) on YouTube. The best I could find was a partial of a Sega CD version, which is a bit lagged compared to the original Genesis cartridge version, and the song is cut short on the last notes. The video is: here. I’ve been searching for a complete sample of the song, set at its original cartridge speed, for many months. No luck yet, to be continued…

commanderbloodThere were many video games I’ve enjoyed in the 90’s and I have great nostalgia for, but sometimes there is one or two games that do not gain any mention or copy anywhere on the internet. There was one particular game soundtrack that I desperately wanted to hear again, not just within the memories of my mind. The game was called “Commander Blood”.

It was a PC-DOS science fiction game, about a bio-mechanical mastermind named Morlock who builds a ship captain named Commander Blood, in order to help Morlock achieve his goal of travelling to the Big Bang. Yes, it was a very odd game and I played it often at age 16! It was one of my favorites.

I searched EVERYWHERE on the internet for the soundtrack, but I could only find a few of its songs on YouTube, but never the one that kept repeating itself the most within my mind… until I tried searching for it again earlier this week! I don’t know why someone decided to post the full soundtrack of this old game, but I am so very grateful! ^o^/

The track that haunted my mind for the past six months has been the small melody of this: 18:18 – 20:13. I enjoy the entire soundtrack, but that particular song has been on my mind the most!

Why is that song or the one from Generations Lost such a powerful trigger of nostalgia for me? Well, I didn’t listen to this music while experiencing some great milestone in my life, so that’s not the reason for it. Honestly, I experienced these songs when was alone and without friends, stuck within my room and hearing the chaos that was happening within my home.

CaliforniaDreamsDuring the hard times of my childhood, I played video games, watched TV shows, and so on. And sometimes this would become a mental escape to enjoy a chiptune or some funny character I watched on TV. So whenever I hear these songs, or am reminded of a show or movie I once loved, I do fall into that safe and happy zone that had comforted me as a child.

It’s nice to remember the good times, as long as one doesn’t take it too far and tries to live within the past.  The healthy thing to do is to always  keep moving forward in life. ^_^

Here’s the list of articles and science data about nostalgia, as promised: Elite Daily: The Science Behind Nostalgia And Why We’re So Obsessed With The Past / The New York Times: What Is Nostalgia Good For? Quite a Bit, Research Shows / Youtube – Nostalgia: The Sentimental Science.

Okay, I’ve enjoyed my blogging break of reminiscing, it’s back to studying science for me. Thanks for reading, as always! ^_^v

-D

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Prioritizing For Science!

[large][AnimePaper]wallpapers_Memories-Off_Asahi_14910In a few weeks, I will began my very long journey in achieving my PhD in Physics, starting with online classes to become acquainted with the basics once again. I haven’t been to school since high-school and forgot most of what I had learned (if anything, to be honest).

I’m out of practice with writing research papers and I’ve relied on calculators for any math problems I had to solve in my daily life. I vaguely remember much of the pre-algebra that I had learned in the sixth grade (in my school, the teachers didn’t bother to teach it any further than that, because it was assumed that no one would ever really need it) and I completely spaced out (and failed) my calculus classes.

I pretty much dismissed physics and mathematics in my youth, because I didn’t believe much of myself and I thought, “Why do I need to learn this? I’m not going to be a rocket scientist! Feh!” I wish I had the foresight that someday I would want to pursue this career path, perhaps I would have paid attention the first time around.

I will start my online courses early May, while I work hard in therapy to tame my anxiety issues. By early 2016, I should be attending an actual university with specific programs for earning degrees in Physics. This step will require a lot of hard work on my part (gaining control over my anxiety) and a bit of luck (gaining education grants for my tuition), but I’m very hopeful and confident that I can make this happen!

The goal of gaining a PhD is very much a slow series of steps. I first have to survive through the Associates degree program, next is Bachelor, then Master, and a Graduate program to earning my Doctorate. This usually takes anywhere from eight to ten years. I estimate that I’ll take a full decade to complete this goal, meaning that I will be age 45, when all of this is said and done.

willywonkageneHowever, the grand prize of earning my PhD in Physics reminds me of a “Golden Ticket”, from the movie “Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory” (not the horrifying Johnny Depp version. Yes, I’m aware that the new version is more true to the original book… but WOW! o_o). The only differences between the fictional story and my real life situation is that I’m not a poor boy, but a poor “girl” (ahem, woman). And the ticket is not a key to an “eccentric and wonderful candy factory of all!”, my Ticket will be a key to an eccentric and wonderful science field of all! ^o^/

I did my research into what I could do with a PhD in Physics and my jaw dropped at the many job titles I could choose from, either with just my earned degree or taking a few other classes after gaining my Doctorate. A small list of job opportunities with a Physics degree is located: here. My idea was to become a Physicist, but now I am not so sure, because the career paths of Astrophysicist, Astronomer, and High School Teacher is really appealing to me as well!

For High School Teacher, I love the idea of sharing everything that I’ve learn to  young minds. In high-school I had NO idea how awesome Physics can be, because the teachers didn’t really care to teach it. To be fair, I lived in a state where Evolution wasn’t taught either, except for a grumble of “Scientists believe that we’re born from monkeys, therefore they’re wrong and god-less heathens. Ignore them.” So, I believe it’s fair to say that I was doomed to not be taught science in the proper way in general.

However, I remember that my physics class was taught by teachers whom seemed as if they rather be anywhere else in the universe than teaching that class. In turn, the students had a mutual feeling of wishing for any other class than being stuck in that one. It’s a shame, and perhaps I could do a better job.

I am a “space cadet” (as they call the fans of StarTalk Radio), so the career paths of Astrophysicist and Astronomer appeal to my interests a LOT. However, I very much enjoy what I’ve learned so far about rocket science and how shuttles are  launched into space. I may have a little crush on Aerospace Engineering, however I don’t believe that I have the talent for building things at this moment.

animefacepalm006I could be wrong, as I once believed that I didn’t “…Have the mind to understand rocket science, because that subject is for geniuses, and my IQ score is average!” – Dani, 2009.  

Yeah… a lot of what I believed (and limited myself to) were lies and of really bad self-esteem. I can and do understand rocket science. I am working on my self-esteem in therapy so, in other words, maybe I’ll become an Aerospace Engineer someday! Anything is possible! ^_^v

For me, writing has always been a doorway into different worlds, that was as limited as my imagination would allow it to be. And I think this is why I can’t seem to stop going on about this long term goal of mine, because studying science has the same experience. Science is only as limited as my imagination will allow it to be, the possibilities of discovery are infinite.

Of course, because of my academic pursuits, this means I must have my priorities in check. My writing will have to take a huge backseat for a while, meaning less blogging, dropping my RPG Maker project completely, and less time working on novels. This is my little nudge towards my readers. don’t worry if you see less of my blog posts, I will try not to be silent for many months at a time.

I do plan to keep my habit of Youtube viewing/retweeting, because the videos often give me a nice break in between studying and there’s no effort to clicking the share button. So don’t worry, veteran or newbie Youtubers, I’m still a fan and following your channels!

And I’m sorry to my pals who are heavy into this season of TV shows, as I’ve decided to drop TV for a while, in order to focus and spend time on my academics. It literally came down to a choice of cutting TV or Youtube, and Youtube won out. I’m sure that I’ll be able to catch up with the shows later in the future. What I’m doing now is much more important to me,  so do have fun with those shows without my input, I don’t mind! ^_^v

And I can’t end this post without a little song link. I think you know what the song choice is going to be… Yes, Willy Wonka’s: Pure Imagination.  I’m sometimes predictable, what can I say? Thanks for reading, as always!

-D