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I’m so prone to nostalgia, and so aware that I’m prone to it, that I’ve in the past sent notes to my future self to correct my tendency for emotional historical revisionism. I was prompted to search for one of these after seeing a photo of an old flame’s high school yearbook on Facebook — which filled me with nostalgia — and, to my amazement, I found the very note. It was stuffed in a pile of papers in my attic, and had somehow survived more than 30 years of my peripatetic wanderings.
Any historian would be satisfied, based on this documentary evidence, that I should not have felt nostalgic. I was in fact miserable after we split up. I made a point of explicitly recording this. I strongly suspected that one day I’d be wistful about the whole business. This thought infuriated me, given that I was sure the experience merited no such sentiment. The note from Claire-of-yore to Claire-of-now is as clear as it gets: “However you’re tempted to remember this, don’t kid yourself: You didn’t enjoy this at all.”
Didn’t help. Looking at my own handwriting made me nostalgic. Finding that notebook in my attic made me nostalgic. Reexamining my memories of a period that I know for a fact I didn’t enjoy — it’s documented! — made me laugh with nostalgia and wistfulness. So obviously, no matter how awful I feel about any experience, I’ll one day be nostalgic about it; and given this propensity, it struck me: it’s just inevitable that one day I’ll be terribly nostalgic for 2015. Can’t be helped, no use fighting it, I just will be.