Dear Nostalgia–Guest Post by Justin Harlan

Boy do I have a treat for you today.  Today I have my first ever guest blog post, and it’s a doozy!  Justin Harlan of sure knows how to make an impact in 1000 words or less.  I know you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.  Also, now that you see how awesome guest posts can be, why don’t you think about writing one?  No experience required, it’s cathartic, and I’ll pay you (in backlinks to your blog).

Dear Nostalgia,

I’d like to begin my letter to you today by thanking you for spending
some time with me of the past few days.  It was great to enjoy some
moments together, just catching up… laughing… sharing a good beer…
really, I enjoyed it a great deal.  It was nice to reminisce about
those great days and nights we spent at the old house.  Every moment
we looked back at was a great one: the movie nights where the whole
gang was there, the summer days in the old pool, those board games
that lasted days, the cub scout meetings in the dining room, that game
of “Spin the Bottle”, the long talks late at night, the sing-a-longs
to our favorite bands from the local scene… We had the chance to get
together again last night to talk about all types of great memories,
from the goofy haircuts of the 80’s and 90’s to the first time I took
the stage (in the Assistant Superintendent of the school district’s
pink dress nonetheless).  We laughed until our bellies hurt and our
eyes welled up.  Great times.

But… Big N, I have a huge bone to pick with you now that I’ve gotten a
chance to think about our last few dates.  You’re full of shit!
That’s right, you read that correctly.  You, sir, are full of it.  You
never want to look at back at the truth, just some fable that we’ve
created as the years have gone by.  Sure, it felt great to fall asleep
on the couch with that cute girl, but you forget all about how she
tore my heart out of my chest no more than a week later.  Yeah, I
loved those parties with my pals in the basement, but that basement
was also where some of those friends betrayed me… something you
conveniently left out.  Those pictures of my old baseball teams were
great, but I sucked at baseball and had a coach who kept trying to get
me to step into pitches at an early age.  That girl that I kissed
during “Spin the Bottle”, well she started dating my best friend
behind my back.  Your rose colored glasses leave all of this stuff
out.  You remember all the great things about our lives, but leave out
the divorces, deaths, and heartaches.

Listen, I’m not trying to discount the wonderful things that have
happened in our lives.  We’ve been through a lot.  But it’s not just
good; it’s both good AND band.  Life runs the gamut, from blissfully
wonderful to total and complete shit.  When you deny the shit, you
lose what makes those great moments so blissful.  Nostalgia, you are
truly missing out on life by living in your revisionist history; you
live in the past and it’s not even the REAL past.  Live in the
present… live in the NOW.

For every great moment I had in the past, I’ll have 10 more with my
wife and kids.  You are missing out on that.  Think about the things
we have in life now… good, bad, somewhere in between.  This is what
life’s about N; this is what life is REALLY about.

So, while I really enjoyed this week’s trip down memory lane and I
look forward to hanging out again soon, it’s time for you to see that
it’s not all about the happy shiny moments.  Life is tough and shit
happens; but, without that grit in life, the memories we shared this
week would mean absolutely nothing.

Your friend,

Justin Harlan, aka thepaintedman, is a Program Manager in the
Corrections field, a long time blogger and music reviewer, a husband,
a dad, a horrible dancer, and an all around nice guy (that is, if he
likes you).  Check out his site at and his
weekly-ish Berks Beat column on COAL (

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