You’re surrounded by friends and loved ones (or strangers you’ve just met who feel like friends and loved ones), feeling happy, content, and fully lucid in a moment that seems too good to be true. You have a moment of clarity that feels like an epiphany and you make a mental note to file this experience away for later, to hold onto this place and time in your memory box and take notice of every minute detail.
These are the experiences we live for. These are the inebriated, spontaneous, bewildering, life-defining events that feel like elation in its purest form, so why can’t we relive them?
Even moments like these that were confined to a specific space like a bar or yearly event or a certain group of people cannot be redone. Every subsequent attempt to capture the same scenario and feelings will be met with a sense of falseness. It feels like a carbon copy. It doesn’t feel genuine.
You can’t plan things like this. You can’t recreate moments.
As you well know from my constant nostalgia posts and obsession with clinging to the past, I am a sentimental fool. I hold my memories dearly. Even painful memories are a source of inspiration and a clear definition of how my psyche and lifestyle has ended up the way it has.
It’s a series of moments I want to relive, but cannot.
I’ve had parties, concerts, clubs, summer camps, and skating rinks that felt like the perfect place and the perfect time while they unfolded, but they seemed alien and empty upon revisiting them.
Like a holistic view of life, most waking moments are a generally even keel punctuated by moments of extreme joy and extreme tragedy.
As much as I want to find a way back to certain moments and certain feelings, it can never be.
This is the curse of experiencing life in a linear fashion. This is the way our perspective is locked into a set of rails that don’t allow for do-overs or replays. These are the shackles of the human experience.
As hard as it is to let go, it’s also partly a blessing. The ethereal, temporary nature of existence allows for endless possibility. You can reinvent yourself every morning, if you want.
Had a bad day? Working a job you hate? Married to someone you don’t love? Wanting more than anything in the world to move away from where you are? Wake up the next morning and do it.
Put one foot in front of the other. The way out is through. The path to everything you want is to never stop moving forward.
You can remember moments without reliving them. You can embrace your past without letting it define you.
The reason we’re not allowed to relive moments is because then we’d never make room for new moments.
What’s done is done and it’s time to find out what we’re going to do tomorrow.