Tyler Voll

Writer - Freelancer

Over the past years, I don’t often find myself looking at my reflection in a mirror and recognizing change. Gradual change is an almost invisible constant, unless it slaps you in the face, and after making the decision with my wife to move into our first house, it’s impossible to look away from the past when it’s boxed up in cardboard. While we all wear different masks throughout our lives, which allow us to fit in at different places with various people, it’s the culmination of those masks that make up who I am now. Most recently, with the move, my view on nostalgia has changed, and along with it a lot of my older possessions.


    In childhood, there was a wonder that continually overtook me, allowing me to look at anything mundane and find it as uniquely special. A stick in the forest, or a sea shell on the shore; as long as it was attached with any memory of happiness, I felt compelled to hold it close and not get rid of it. Keeping those items close became a psychological relief. The pervading thought during my childhood being that by not getting rid of the item, I would protect the happy memory from ever leaving me. While it is common that the imagination of a child is more vibrant than an adult’s, I do find it almost funny how, as an adult, it is much easier to detach myself from possessions along with ideas.

    Nostalgia is a prized commodity, one that sells for cash. Whether it’s picking up retro video games that will hardly be played or if it’s deciding to cling on to a broken ideology, some emotions can become crutches if not checked. At times, the weight of these emotions make me believe that the items are somehow a part of me. After relinquishing myself of them, I realized it wasn’t the physical nature that was connected to me, it was just the warmth of the memories themselves. As our masks change and we continue to develop ourselves, the possessions and ideologies that accompany us on our journey should be seated as mere passengers, unable to take control of our independence and reason.

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