Thoughts and feelings locked in our memory reserves generally lie dormant until they’re stirred. But there are certain emotions that tend to live closer to the surface, and I’m guilty of carrying sentimentality on my shoulders like a perpetual backpack filled with nostalgia.
It seemed this longing to revisit a very specific time in my life was unique, and I assumed most people probably looked back at their past with a certain degree of ambivalence. Adolescent experiences were either loathed or loved, and a primary focus was put on the present.
But I’ve never been able to scratch that particular itch. The roller coaster rush felt from swimming in uncharted waters for the first time has never been equaled. There are moments of happiness and periods of near-contentment, but it’s hard to escape the fact that the person who used to wear my skin was simply a better version of me. I’ve tried to express this notion to family and friends, but it normally falls on deaf ears. My ideas get reduced to wistfulness by those who can’t relate.
Thankfully, a beautiful, honest, and painfully raw film called “Blue Jay” fell on my radar.
I’ve long been a fan of Mark Duplass and the “Mumblecore” genre, but this vulnerable and grounded story painted a remarkable visual representation of that longing to recapture the enthusiastic joy born from the prospect of hope. To see the suppressed pain and spinning thoughts being processed during intimate exchanges brought tears to my eyes. Finally, someone understood.
An ever-present ache has attached itself to adulthood, and no accomplishment or personal sense of pride will ever measure up to the wide-eyed wonder of youth. Maybe I’m lucky to have had such intensely significant milestone markers as I navigated my rites of passage. But I can’t ignore the chasm they created.
See this film. Remember your early life and early love. It’s worth it.