The feeling we all know but can never experience in the same way. The nostalgia and emotions we feel about a memory is as unique as the memory itself. The situations and objects that trigger the wave of nostalgia we all recognise, can be as mundane as a bus ticket or an old water bottle, yet the reaction they elicit can be astronomical.
Being half Australian myself, the nostalgia surrounding visiting my family and living Australian life is huge, but it’s often the smallest things that trigger it. Cuddly toys and fridge magnets appear sporadically round the house, in the most unobtrusive way, yet provide a completely unavoidable reason to smile every time I pass them. Being such a sucker for the nostalgic feeling, I immortalised it through an incredible piece of artwork around my arm, and after nearly 2 years of seeing it every day, it still hasn’t lost its effect.
A theory proposed by psychologists called ‘The Endowment Effect’ also provides an interesting insight into why we hold so much value in certain objects, which is partially linked to nostalgia. The value we place in an object is exponentially increased when it is something that we actually own, and our brains typically see this as the case because we believe no-one else is capable of seeing it in the same way, or understanding how many memories/emotions the object can trigger. The object itself is important, but it’s the non-physical effects it has that we value most and want to hold onto for as long as possible.
The ties we harbour to the past, memorable object and old memories from years gone by should be allowed to remain, but never allowed to prevent us from living in the present. There are a whole world of new memories and experiences to be lived, and endless possibilities to form a new nostalgia wave for our future selves to enjoy.
Words: Kerry Bensley, BA (Hons) Photography, @kerrybensleyphotography