From the Lens of Nostalgia

By Go-getter Jessi Behrendsen

Last week, out of the blue, I texted my dad and asked him to take me to a high school football game at my alma mater, then I messaged my junior high best friend and asked her if she wanted to meet us there. Shortly after, we all penciled in November 1, when Port Clinton High School takes on our arch rivals, the Oak Harbor Rockets. Truth be told, I don’t like football. But I had a sudden urge to be seated at my old high school stadium with a hot chocolate in my hand next to a familiar face from my childhood, cheering on our home team. 

Woman wearing jacket that reads PCHS CHEERLEADER
Here I am feeling nostalgic in my high school cheerleading jacket.

Maybe it’s because my knee officially hurts every time the barometric pressure drops, or maybe it’s because my mom brought a large plastic bin of items from my childhood (including a stunning array of notes passed back and forth between classes circa 1996), but I’m starting to feel the passage of time for the first time in my adult life. And with that has come this achy nostalgia I can’t seem to shake. Even as I type this, I’m listening to the soundtrack for “Waiting to Exhale” and wearing a very, very old Nirvana T-Shirt. 

As good and gooey as this nostalgia can be, it comes with a lot of rumination about mistakes I’ve made, paths I’ve taken or not taken, and random decisions that led me to specific places. So, I figured, what better way to dispense some lessons than on the “Go Get the World” blog to reach the next generation of women?  

At the risk of turning this into a soap-box article about why the Backstreet Boys will always be superior to NSYNC, I won’t go into detail as to why these learning points matter to me, just that they do. So, Go Get the World and remember…

It’s OK to be ten different people throughout your life. Just don’t forget about all the past versions of yourself while you grow. 

Your decisions are yours and yours alone. Yes, it is important to factor family, friends, and partners into those decisions, but this is your life and you’re the one that’s going to be living it.

Stay connected. Try hard not to lose touch with the people you were close with while growing up, or with the ones who meant the most to you.

Three young women
Remember your friends and encourage them to go get the world, too!

If you see an opportunity to speak up and add your voice, do it. Now more than ever, we need compassion and reason.

Keep a cool head. The pressure of everything can be overwhelming, and you’ll often be tempted direct your frustrations on the people who love you. Take a deep breath, count to 10, and remember they’re on your side.

Don’t apologize for what you enjoy. Listen to the music you want to listen to. Read the books you want to read. Watch the shows you want to watch. 

Get a pet. One that can grow as you grow and stay by your side as an emblem of going from kid to adult, or one that accompanies you as you embark on a new career. When you have a tough time, your pet will still love you.

Cat on the middle shelf of a bookcase.
This is my cat who grew up with me!

Remember that you have the choice to not feel guilty when you do something for yourself. Go ahead and catch a movie instead of checking your email at 8 p.m. on a Thursday, or grab a cup of coffee with an old friend on a Saturday morning instead of attending a networking event. Life is a balance, and you’ll burn out fast if you don’t also take time for the things you crave and that fulfill you.

Keep a journal when you’re anxious and look back on it for patterns. Over time you’ll be able to identify the things that trigger you and then you van make room for the things that bring calm.

No one is perfect. Enjoy the feeling of looking back on all the good, but don’t fixate too hard on what you could have done differently. Acknowledge what you learned from the mistakes and then move on.

woman looking into a bright future
Don’t let your beautiful imperfections stop you from chasing your dreams.

I hope some of these musings spark a conversation or two, and I encourage you to add your own nostalgic wisdom to the list by writing in a comment below or sending us a message!

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