The Problem with Rear View Mirrors and Binoculars

“Don’t worry, darlin’. No baby, don’t you fret. We’re livin’ in the future and none of this has happened yet.”“Livin’ in the Future” by Bruce Springsteen

“It’s such a drag when you’re living in the past.” -“Even the Losers” by Tom Petty

Some things (and people) look and seem a lot better from a distance, until you get more familiar and get to know them better.  That’s a lesson everyone has learned at some point. And we file that information away and are more skeptical because of it. But these “better-looking things” in life don’t just apply to right now, they apply to the past and to the future.

Being the romantic and nostalgic person I am, this tends to be a weakness of mine. Anyone who has known me since 8th grade has known that I am obsessed with the year 1983. While I was only 2 years old in 1983, I remember enough about it and have seen enough movies and heard enough songs from that year to know it seems to be the coolest year for me to live in.

It’s not just 1983 though, it’s just about every year I’ve been alive. My mind mainly only records the positive memories, not the boring and bad ones. So I have this massive slide show collection in my mind of all these funny quotes and moderately interesting stories that I tend to compare today to.

With countless files in my head of positive times in the past, it’s easy to look around right now and think, “Things were better two years ago” or “ten years ago” or “fifteen”. But it’s not a fair comparison.

And with the future. I have a great imagination. So many plans and ideas for the future for my life. I subconsciously tell myself, “Things will be better when…” Then I fill in the blank that I want to happen that may indeed never actually happen. Another unfair comparison to the present day.

Living in the now is a hard thing to do, especially when you’re prone to time travel.

Apple ad from 1983