Lately I’ve been consuming myself with home videos, Disney classics, and copies of old dance recitals.
[Yes, this means I have a VCR. It’s old in years but is a feisty machine. It won’t rewind all the way to the beginning in one go. The buttons on it are pushed in and misaligned so you have to use the remote. The buttons on that are also touchy- sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. But I can get it to play my movies and that’s all I essentially require.]
I’ve also been enamoured by all things tap (based on my missing it so much). My YouTube favourites feed is now all delightful classic Hollywood numbers courtesy of Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Ann Miller, Eleanor Powell, Vera Ellen, etc. All of which means that my downtime this week is going to consist of me drooling at the TV screen over classics like Singin’ in the Rain and Top Hat.
Nostalgia, although a terrific escape, blows. It does. It’s also the story of my life (for the past few years). Which is probably why it blows so much. I have been so nostalgic for the life I used to have and for the person who I used to be. It’s so ignorantly self-indulgent that I haven’t been able to examine the present. It has kept me busy long enough to ignore my real life… of which nothing has become.
I have always waited for some great change to come to me, for Gene Kelly to tap his way into my life, but nothing ever happened, Mr. Kelly never came. I have been patient enough. Now Gene has passed (RIP, you talented man). But my dreams aren’t. I have wasted so much of my life re-watching it or doing something I’ve already done. I don’t want the rest of my life to be like that. I have realised that if I want my life to be different, to be better, I have to go out and make it happen. I can’t wait around much longer because one day I won’t be happy at all.
Nostalgia is great in small amounts. I mean, it brought me here. To this place of realisation. I can now pull back all the bull shit details and strip down my life to its core ambitions, to where I truly intend to go. Nostalgia helps you remember who you were and what you loved; even if you’ve fallen off the beaten track for a while it’ll put you back on in the right direction. But the moment you begin to live more in the past than in the present, it becomes toxic.
OPERATION: Learn to sing in the rain with a smile on my face.