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.
I 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…
There 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.
During 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