Nostalgia creeps in at the most inconvenient times. It settles itself amongst dusty photographs and surprises you with a familiar scent that brings you back to a day, a time or a feeling. It’s nestled in the way you remember all of the dreams that you had for yourself and it sits in the back seat of your car reminding you that this song you are listening to right now was played in a car seven years ago while you drove down through the Cape.

Nostalgia is a feeling I can never seem to shake, it manifests itself in a late night phone call, the wave of your hand or when I accidentally stumble upon Day Zero Project lists that are years and years old. I go through the list and mentally cross of the ones that I’ve actually completed. Find a boyfriend. Graduate with a BA. Meet your favorite author (not yet, but very very soon). Get a passport. This sort of nostalgia reminds me of who I was and who I’ve become. It makes me want to watch old movies that I used to love. It makes me want to make a new list and aspire to something. It makes me look up admissions guidelines to grad schools.

Nostalgia brings me away from the present and way deep into the best. It settles in my bones and I can remember this feeling, I recognize this sadness.I want to laugh at old photographs and e-mail loved ones with remember whens and if only-ies. Nostalgia reminds me that someday I will be nostalgic for this very moment, wishing I had back this afternoon at Borders with my netbook, pondering the world and waiting to hear back opinions on a story I’m halfway through. It reminds me that the people in my life may not always be there, but maybe if I’m lucky they will remain at my side. It reminds me that life is precious and it moves in fast forward.

Nostalgic pulls at my heartstrings and forces me to recognize time passed. It tells me that things will be better than they are right now, but warns me that there will be times that things will be worse. Nostalgia reminds me that I will always find things to write about, even if I can’t think right now, as long as I keep on writing. It reminds me of the writer I used to be and urges me to find the writer inside of me right now.

Nostalgia forces tastes upon my tongue, it allows me to smell feelings and bring up memories that are like photographs in my mind. Wearing Sarongs and eating ice cream in P Town, looking out over New York City from a royal hotel, landing in Tulsa Oklahoma and looking at the five tiny tall buildings in the entire city.

I am nostalgic by nature. Some days go by all I can do is feel it in my bones, paralyzing me until I am forced to recognize something inside myself right now. Some days it only passes after late nights full of reminiscing and tears. Some days it leaves me stronger than I imagined, ready to face a beautiful future I’ve yet to claim.