Overwhelming nostalgia for a camp school visit back in 1999

Postby Peter86 » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:11 pm

When I was about to enter 7th grade in 1999 (which in Sweden is a grade for 13-year-olds) I was at a camp school at a ski resort during the summer, and ever since then I have felt very drawn to that place.
I feel a very powerful kind of nostalgia every time I think about it, in fact so much that I sometimes feel like I am about to cry (even today, 19 years later), and I have even travelled all the way there a couple times (which is a journey of about 70 miles).
I have never really felt this kind of nostalgia for any other place to this degree, and it freaks me out a bit.

One big reason why I think that I feel this way is because nowadays I am very reserved and easily get uncomfortable in new social situations, whereas in my early teens I was a lot more spontaneous and made friends very easily.
However, this doesn't explain why I feel so nostalgic about the camp school visit and not nearly as nostalgic about the rest of my early teens, which were mostly awesome.
The only explanation that I can think of is that it was some kind of combination of the new environment during that camp school and the fact that I only have positive memories of that place, and pretty much nothing negative.
I also casually "eye-flirted" with two cute girls on different occasions when I was there (which is another thing that I miss about myself from back then - the ability to flirt without feeling stiff and anxious while I do it), and both times those girls approached me a few minutes later with a few other girls, and that was of course very significant experiences there as well.
One of the groups of girls turned out to be my future classmates (one of them also turned out to be interested in me, but I thought she was joking because we were constantly fighting and provoking each other, so we misunderstood each other and nothing really happened after that) and one girl from the other group gave me her phone number but I never called her - so basically I guess I missed two golden opportunities right there, and this is probably another reason why I feel that sting of nostalgia when I think of that camp school.

Another thing that also confuses me like heck is that even if I experience similar positive experiences today, they just don't seem to mean anything in the same way.
I could feel really popular among people and notice lots of interest from some girls or something like that and this will maybe give me a confidence boost for about 10-20 minutes, and then it doesn't really have any impact on me anymore and then I start worrying that it will be "the last time" that I experience anything like that.

What do you make out of this?
Is it simply the combination of lots of positive experiences and partly lost opportunities in a new environment that make me feel this way about the camp school visit?
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#1

Postby Candid » Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:51 am

Peter86 wrote:I am very reserved and easily get uncomfortable in new social situations, whereas in my early teens I was a lot more spontaneous and made friends very easily.


That's a good insight. You're not missing a place, you're missing Who You Were when you went there.

What happened to that outgoing teenager? Where have you allowed Other People to define who you are?

I believe you can fix this by beginning to stand up for your personal boundaries, in small issues first and then in bigger ones. Let your inner 13-year-old say where he wants to go and who with. Don't let Other People push you around.

When you have clear boundaries, and defend them, you have nothing to fear in any social situation.
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#2

Postby Peter86 » Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:50 pm

I think that I started to become a bit more troubled and reserved some time in late 2001 or so, because I noticed that my parents were starting to have lots of arguments and then they got divorced one year later.
I do remember that I acted a bit more serious at around that time in grade 9.

Also, after I ended grade 9 and went to high school (between ages 16-19) I lost a lot of contact with old classmates and pretty much had to start over from page 1.
I did know two guys in my class from before, but they felt more like acquaintances than like friends (although one of them frequently suggested that I should join him at LAN parties that he often attended, so I guess he tried to be my friend, but I never really showed up there).
I also did notice that several guys and girls in my high school class liked me, but I had kind of lost my "social flow" so I ended up more and more isolated.
I could still sometimes hang out with old friends from junior high school and have a lot of fun with them during weekends and stuff, but I eventually started to stop seeing them as well, and a lot of them moved to other villages.
Then I actually went through a depression between around 2006-2009 (I took anti-depressants back then) and I was also unemployed at that time, so I was kind of a wreck for a while.
I did however start to get better after that and also was asked out on a date by a girl in the summer of 2010 and had a relationship with her for a few months, which definitely meant a lot in a lot of ways (it was my first actual relationship, since I have always freaked out when girls have showed interest in me in the past, but this one time I decided to take the chance while I still had it - she was also very straightforward and immediately told me that she thought I was good-looking and asked if we could meet, so it was a lot less pressure that way).
Then things have improved in several ways since then, and I currently study an Engineering Physics program, which is very stimulating.
But I still haven't really fixed that ability to relax in social situations - I feel a huge "performance anxiety" and always fear that all positive impressions that I make will happen for the very last time, and I lose a lot of confidence if I don't immediately make a positive impression among new people.

There is also that time when I hung out with some of the girls at the camp school, and one of them gave me her number and another one posted me a letter and wondered how I was doing a few days later.
I never responded to any of those girls, and this has always bothered me a lot, and I think that my abrupt loss of contact with them is one major reason why I feel this way about that camp school - it partly reminds me of my bad habit of always missing opportunities to learn new people in general.
I still remember roughly what phone number one of the girls had though, and also her family's last name and in which town they lived (about 90 miles away from me, in the same province), and I will definitely recognise the number if I see it in a phone book from that year.
I have been thinking about that for some time, and it would feel great to meet them again at least once.
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#3

Postby Peter86 » Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:34 pm

I also think that a lot of this has to do with how much time I spent with friends back then, since spending time with friends tend to give most people a lot of energy in a very special way.
Just a moment ago I visited a community group where most of my former classmates from junior high school (the time between 1999-2002) are members, and I suggested having a reunion next year since that would be 20 years after we started junior high school, and I quickly got positive reactions from two old friends from that time (who I still hung out with several years after that up until maybe 4 years ago) and those old friends even started talking about maybe meeting in private as well some time, and this alone immediately made me feel better, since it made me feel that I still have a kind of friendship connection with them.
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#4

Postby Candid » Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:33 am

Peter86 wrote:Just a moment ago I visited a community group where most of my former classmates from junior high school (the time between 1999-2002) are members, and I suggested having a reunion next year since that would be 20 years after we started junior high school, and I quickly got positive reactions from two old friends from that time (who I still hung out with several years after that up until maybe 4 years ago) and those old friends even started talking about maybe meeting in private as well some time, and this alone immediately made me feel better, since it made me feel that I still have a kind of friendship connection with them.


That's the way, Peter. But keep in mind that you don't need these old classmates to rekindle your inner 13-year-old. He's with you all the time, it's just that you've gone in for some self-defeating add-ons. So... you don't need to go looking for anything else or a particular set of people from the past. You just need to drop the self-defeating thoughts, the negative habits, the habitual thoughts... and enjoy your life.
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#5

Postby Peter86 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:38 am

Yeah, I have actually recently decided to gradually talk more and more often to people, just to get used to interacting with them.
I am not even gonna focus on whether I "make a good impression" or not, I am simply gonna get out there and start getting used to talking to people in general.
For example, I have been a musician for most of my life (mainly guitar and bass, although I am decent at piano and drums as well) and I recently heard of a great school band at my university, and they know that I will pay them a visit today in the late afternoon and said that I was more than welcome to do so.
Then on Wednesday and Friday I will have a personal trainer give me tips on my workout routines at my gym, and I will always try to use eye contact and smile during those conversations (without exaggerating, of course).
Then I will gradually increase one day per week until I talk to someone at least once a day.
I would guess that I have got used to this in a couple months or so.
I just need to get back into that "social flow", so that I don't feel stiff and intimidated by every freaking social situation.
I would assume that this "social flow" also made it much easier for me to flirt with cute girls in a playful way.
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#6

Postby f/j » Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:57 am

Woah, I recognize this story from City-Data. :O
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