Romanticizing Life

I try to take a few moments every day to appreciate the life I have been given. It sounds cheesy, but I really do it. My family has been hit with some truly serious blows over the years and it has really made me grateful and thankful for what I have been given and where I am today.

While I do have much to be thankful for, and countless experiences and memories to cherish, I have been noticing lately that I tend to romanticize things. Whether it is a vacation, a meal, an outfit, or an event, I tend to remember it better than it actually was.

I’m not sure why this is. Do we naturally, as people, simply wish to look back on things more favorably than they occurred? Does it make everyday life seem better, more bearable?

I suppose it’s sort of an odd thing to consider. But, I’ve begun noticing that I have this little habit because when I revisit the thing I have romanticized, I’m disappointed. Maybe I put on an outfit I tried a while back and loved, but now it just looks strange. Or, I’ll remember a trip so fondly and be reminded that I actually had a terrible time. It happens most frequently with exercise- I always imagine that I was in such great shape or that I had a really excellent run, when actually I clunked along for 6 miles, praying for death. It’s only once I reach the end of a run, or any trying event, that I think “it wasn’t so bad” or “that was really fun”. Then I place it in my memory bank as a great experience and wish to do it again, until I realize it wasn’t really that great.

The possibility exists that I am just truly crazy and I regularly trick myself into believing that I am not. On the other hand, everyone may do this and it may just be a natural function.

Does anyone else find themselves romanticizing past experiences, only to remember reality was slightly different than you imagined?

P.S. One thing I remember so fondly is my old running route at Ohio State. I have the best 5 mile route in all the world, wrapping around campus and through my favorite Columbus neighborhoods. I haven’t run it in at least 2 years but I am already gearing up for a morning run before the game on Homecoming Weekend. Ohio State is one place that is always as good as I remember it.