Every week I take a detox bath. Every week I am more than excited to start. I fill the tub up with a variety of scents, oils and salts. I then bring in my portable radio, a bottle of water and a little something extra. Detox baths take me anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half so I have to come prepared. This week I had to force myself to take a much-needed detox bath. I wasn’t feeling stable and knew that if I didn’t make a conscious effort to make this a positive experience not only would I ruin the bath, but I would ruin my entire week. So naturally I started playing The Cure on my portable radio. I figured that if I already feel horrible I might as well bring out as much pain as I can, and in turn discover the cause of my melancholy state.
Listening to The Cure brought me back more than a decade. I expected tears when listening to their music. Heck, I expect tears every time I take a detox bath. After all that is the point of a detox bath, to allow yourself to have a round table conversation with the person you are, the person you think you are, the person you want to be and the person others see you as. Who wouldn’t cry after such a discussion? However, to my surprise I was crying tears of joy. Looking so many years back made me realize how lucky I am to be able to look back in the first place. Being that I am in my mid 20’s, just a few years ago looking back meant remembering what my favorite cartoon was. This is the first time I have been able to look back and remember being a completely different person consciously, yet also being able to respect that it was always me in that person and that I might just want to bring back some beautiful qualities of the person I used to be. Many of us have learned to associate nostalgia exclusively with being a child or with past pop culture references, to the point that we forget that there is also beauty in the act of looking back at all. There is beauty in being a teenager just as much as being a child. There is so much beauty in being human.
Listening to The Cure brought me back to my first love. I remember the happiest time of my teenage years and it comes back to one specific day. I will never forget seeing his face as I woke up from a nap. I would never want to go back to that time or person, but that’s the beauty in it.
Yes, our initial reaction is to remind ourselves of how stupid we were then. But my initial reaction was gratitude. Rediscovering anything in life is the beauty of getting old. I will never in my adult life, with all the knowledge I’ve acquired, the self- esteem I’ve built and interests/projects that have taken up a lot of my time, put anyone on such a pedestal that their existence alone is my pure source of happiness. (I am excluding having a child from this, because although I can imagine that having a child must feel like your first love, I do not know the feeling). Being able to look back is always a blessing. I was able to re live the feeling all over again without the consequences and in an odd way it made me feel better about the present.
Seeing the same in a deeper, different light over and over again is a beautiful thing and an honor. At that moment I fell deeper in love with my life. What a beautiful thing it is to have the pleasure of getting old.