I feel the need to start with a warning so I am not misunderstood here:
The last thing I want is to go back to the past. The last thing I want is to be my younger self. I may have a terminal case of Nostalgia, but please do not confuse that with a practical desire to return to Kilmer or Madison or even Ship. Good? Glad we're on the same page.
Every now and then I very randomly come across a memory that has been dormant for some time. It might be a song or a smell that does it, but most of my memories tied to smells and sounds and sights pop up with some regularity. Often its just out of the blue and unexplainable in origin, coming to me in the shower or during a run. Its a memory that doesn't have the makings of a good story or is topical to any conversation I might have. It rushes up and smacks me in the back of the head without provocation and leaves me (usually) smiling.
I think about my first girlfriend and some of the times we'd spend together. The feeling of being in love for the first time, so bright and new. Fearless of the pitfalls and certain of the outcome in spite of being 16.
I think about riding on the outside of Evan's SUV all the way to school Friday mornings. Or how Freshman year Alex, Chase, Josh and I would walk to Brittney's bus stop for shits and giggles.
I remember how in 6th grade Brittney wore a red shorts/skirt thing that confused me. (Those things still do. Why would you combine shorts and a skirt? Just pick one.)
I remember the very first 'Goats party I went to. How no one even recongized me in real clothes at first. Or how at the very first practice Soap described DRod as "the guy who looks like Jesus" and I knew instantly who he was talking about.
I remember being in the school band at Kilmer and having no idea what the fuck I was doing during the winter concert, but not feeling embaressed at all.
I don't mean to romanticize my youth, as I hope an elder me won't romanticize the current one. I have not forgotten the not-so-nice times, and while I find it easier to laugh at my mistakes I do so without forgetting how painful they were at the time. But there is something to be said for being young and dumb and up for anything.
And the best thing is when I remember though sometimes it sure doesn't feel like it I'm still young, I'm still dumb and there isn't very much I won't give a shot. And even going places you've already been, feeling things you've already felt, playing games you've already played they are all still just as awesome the second (or third or uncounted) time as long as you look upon them with the same passion for life.