I’m Old Enough Now to Get Nostalgic

I’m Old Enough Now to Get Nostalgic

On my birthday in 2012, my future husband saw me for the first time. 

Our mutual friend was getting into my car with me to meet some other friends at an ice cream shop to celebrate my birthday. My husband saw our friend getting in the car with an unfamiliar girl and wondered who I was. Later, he would ask our friend about me. I never saw my husband that day. 

I'm Old Enough Now to Get Nostalgic

I love this story because I am obsessed with dates and time and the intertwining of people at different points in life. I love looking back at the timeline of life and remembering the places I’ve been, who I was with, and what I was doing. When I meet a new person, I gravitate towards learning about their life’s timeline —  all the journeys they have been on, hardships, trauma, or celebrations they have encountered, or how they met the most important people in their lives. At times, I discover how their life has intertwined with mine.


Many years ago, my cousin gifted me one of those “One Line A Day” journals. The premise of the journals are that every day for several years, you write down a quick line about something that happened that day or maybe a feeling that you had. After multiple years of documenting in the journal, I noticed that sometimes I was doing the same activity or hanging out with the same person on the same day in different years.

This information clued me to the fact that my life was in a cyclical rhythm that I did not even realize.

My body or mind was inclined to follow the same mental and physical patterns year to year. Another realization I had through the journaling documentation process was learning that I got sad each year in early January. Upon further research, I learned that this is a common phenomenon called “Blue Monday”, an unofficial day in January that is supposedly the most depressing day of the year, where other people, like myself, are feeling gloomy from the weather, the post-holiday slump, returning to work, and feeling guilty over not keeping New Year’s goals. 


When I was younger, hearing people talking about their past annoyed me. It felt unsettling to me for a few different reasons, like maybe they were bragging about inside jokes or self-righteous experiences, or I made the assumption that if they were talking so much about their past, they must be unhappy in their present.

Even someone celebrating large milestones or anniversaries used to rub me the wrong way. “I’ve worked here for 20 years,” or “We are celebrating our 35th anniversary this year!” I just thought, “Okay…. good for you??”

It seemed strange to me to celebrate time simply just going by.


When I lived in New Orleans several years ago, one of my coworkers became my best friend. We worked together, lived across the street from each other, and commuted to and from work together every day. She was from Philadelphia, so every so often she would fly home to visit her family.

Years later when she moved back home to the northeast, she met who would be her future husband. She learned that during the years we lived in New Orleans, her husband would fly into New Orleans sometimes for work. This was years before she met him. This information THRILLED me!

Me: “Oh my gosh! He was in New Orleans when we were there? Ya’ll could have totally been at the same restaurant or something once! Or even on the same flight going to New Orleans or back! You should go back and look at both of your flights and see if you were ever on the same flight together!”

Her: “Haha, I guess so. That would be a lot of flights to look at though.”

Me: “I mean, not really. A quick search in your emails could tell you all the flights that each of you were on!”

Her: “True, but I do like a little mystery with this. It’s fun to wonder if we ever crossed paths but I don’t need to know for sure.”


They say leave the past in the past, but I’m not quite sure.

Every season of our past is like a thread woven together to make us who we are in the present. If there’s a thread we don’t like remembering, we might tug at it and tug at it until it breaks off. We may even take scissors and cut it off completely, swiftly, and painlessly. Other strands may be more precious to us. We tie those tighter and keep them closer to us. Another strand may begin to unravel naturally. We might leave it alone and let it unravel until it no longer resembles a proper thread. Or rather, we could take the extra time to consistently twirl it back together until the thread is strong again. The tapestry is never complete. We are always sewing on new threads, pulling out old ones, tying some tighter, and letting others fall to the ground, never to be seen again.


Maybe I used to get annoyed at people talking about the past because I hadn’t lived enough life yet.

When I was younger, my past was too close to my present. Now, I’m old enough to get nostalgic. I’m old enough to see how the threads woven together can create something beautiful, broken, or restored. How the threads make up the composition of who we are, but they don’t have to define us. How the threads are invisible strings across time and space, tying us together.

Allison Gregory-Graff
Allison is a mom to two precious girls, Leigh and Rhylan, and a wife to Ian. They live together in Lafayette, Louisiana. Allison graduated from UL in Elementary Education, and has been working in the education system since 2013. Her daughters are constantly teaching her that motherhood is the greatest and most challenging gift that she will spend a lifetime trying to figure out. You can frequently find Allison arranging play dates (and mom dates) for herself and her girls, drinking coffee, reading, trying to squeeze in time for a creative outlet, and enjoying her husband’s cooking!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here