I've been writing down my life's adventures and mishaps for a decade now. That proves I'm a fan of nostalgia. Obviously, I revel in it. If nostalgia was an unattended kiddy pool filled to the brim with freshly picked raspberries then I would be rose coloured head to toe and permanently immune to scurvy.

Nostalgia is a scary, powerful emotion capable of making any past experience in your life seem like it was great. Even if it was actually terrible. Sometimes you even feel bad that you no longer do things that you didn't really enjoy the first time. For example, sometimes I feel nostalgic about my time as a nightfiller. When I reflect on my evenings of shelf stocking everything seemed so fun. It was all joking around with bros, accidentally breaking packets of biscuits and then gorging on them, and pranking the day staff. When I'm reflecting do I dwell on the memories of stocking and then rotating all those fucking millions of tiny tins of fucking cat food? Every night? No, I don't. I mean seriously, how many freaking cats were there in Blackwood? Tins of tuna, actual tuna for humans was cheaper than that cat food. And don't get me started on baby food, equally tiny but also in glass jars that for some Goddamn reason they could never quite make the shelves the right height for.

This kind of nostalgia, where you have good feelings about something that was really only average is what I refer to as "hindsight nostalgia". I don't really miss trying to work out the differences between pickle jars while my boss stands a metre away from me telling me to hurry up. What I miss is immaterial things. Feelings, like independence, and making money regularly without any real bills to pay. I miss the new-found confidence I gained from learning to interact with society and occasionally guiding someone from society to the correct aisle where the thing they wanted was. I miss the endorphins that came from completing manual labour.

At the time I didn't consciously appreciate these concepts or how they applied to me until after I had matured beyond them. Subconsciously, however, reward centres in my brain must have been triggered, because things that make you grow as a person seem to make you associate the events of those times with good memories. Even if really, those events are something that you shouldn't try to repeat.

And that's why sometimes I smile when I look up at the capping in the local supermarket. Or when I find my old name tag in a box of knick knacks. Or when I smell fresh raspberries.


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