Growing up, you have a certain conception of the way life is, the way the world works. Images of seasons, events, are pressed into your mind and solidified. Later, when you’re all grown up (if there is such a thing), you’re disappointed that you can’t revive those feelings. You catch a whiff of some candle your mother used to burn at Christmas or some perfume your grandmother wore and the nostalgia is so strong you’re brought to tears.
Sometimes the best way to overcome that feeling is to start over. Move somewhere new, create a new life, full of new traditions. Throw away the old ones. Forget where you came from.
Except you can’t, really. One small moment, one flicker of light, and you’re brought back to those evenings you and your parents spent trudging through Prescott Park, up to your shins in snow, your so-called waterproof boots barely keeping your feet warm, but you don’t want to tell your parents, because then you’ll have to go home and to bed and this moment is so perfect you never want it to end. Except it does. And then next thing you know you’re old, with a whole life behind you that barely recognize.
On a moving train, over lukewarm coffee, I told someone that I think the reason I want to escape so badly is that nostalgia for a time I never experienced. Just like it saddens me to look into houses in foreign countries and see lives I’ll never live, it too saddens me to think of simpler times in my own country, my own city, times I’ll never experience. And maybe moving somewhere else, somewhere slower, will grant me that. I’m a product of my own obsessions, my need for speed. Only shedding the cloak of my upbringing, my suburban-ness, can rid me of that.