Nostalgia, such a euphoric feeling of longing to return to a place because within our memory banks, something amazing happened there. It could’ve been a fond physical memory, or even a thought regarding our futures. But does nostalgia mean something greater than simply the free feeling of euphoria?
Have you ever sat and gazed into a horizon, thinking about someday, or when someday comes, you’ll be in that particular place in life you always dreamed of?
But what happens when life happens, and you’re going in a direction far different than you once thought of?
Perhaps you lost yourself somewhere along the line, or maybe you gave up on a dream or ambition far too soon?
I apologize for the endless questions, but for many of us, life gets in the way, or we turn from an obstacle we should have otherwise smiled at and climbed over.
I’m sure many of us have been there, and while we turn and run from such obstacles, which may not even be that bad in the first place, our dreams wither away and we’re left to face a future full of what-ifs.
What if I just smiled at that obstacle and gave it my all rather than turning away into what I thought would’ve been a comfort zone before I realized there are no comfort zones?
Now you’re stuck in a “real” job, working under demanding bosses whose bosses are even more demanding, all in a probably pointless operation for something you may or may not believe or have value in just to pay the bills and put food on the table.
You look back; you think back, five, six, seven, eight years ago and wonder what the hell went wrong and why the hell you decided to deviate from this narrow path to getting what you want. Instead, you decided to settle, and nothing more.
Now that you’re settled, or you thought you were settled, that ‘what-if’ feeling strikes again, harder than before, as you remember every freaking moment of your life that got you to where you are today, a place you never thought you’d be. Where you vowed you’d never be. But yet here you are, slaving away in a job of normal labor to make your ends meet while making someone else rich.
Man that kind of life sucks. I mean, somewhere along the line you ceased being you and your dreams ceased along with you and you ended up dressing in a blue jumpsuit to go to work somewhere between eight and twelve hours a day, five days a week.
Bye-bye Dreams; Hello Life
Isn’t that what they pound into our heads from a young age? Mom and dad, our grandparents, our public-school teachers, everyone telling you that paying taxes and dying while being someone else’s pawn is a reality and you should be grateful for putting a roof over your own head?
Most will accept reality and walk, only to retire broken, perhaps returning to the place that gave such a nostalgic feeling in the first place and feeling—emptiness. Regret. The what-if feeling again. Pain beyond pain, because now they wish they had a Time Turner to go back and fix things; to make things right, only they won’t not because they can’t, but because they don’t know any better.
Your Nostalgic Place
Personal story time for me, lesson for you.
Let me be the first to tell you that back when I was at my warehouse job, as I implied the above section, there’d be many times I’d go to my parents house to do some laundry (I don’t use public washing machines).
Don’t worry, this story gets interesting; I promise you it’s not about laundry.
There’s spot on the largest hill in Jefferson County, Ohio, not too far from their place that one can actually see in the horizon. In this horizon, we lived in our first house, I went to my first school, visited frequently between the years 1995-2009, and sometimes even these days I go back….like in the Kenny Chesney song.
There’s a track over there by the high school where I spent one of the best summers of my life, dreaming about becoming one of the best and most influential personal trainers ever someday. Making money online was another endeavor I wanted, even back then in 2014, but of course, had not the slightest idea where to get started at the time.
Present, however, was hope and a dream was in sight. I’d already been working for two years as a trainer in another town not too far away, and that year I made the decision to return to school in the fall.
The leaps and bounds would be endless over the next few years.
It was my training empire back in the days when I was 23 years old. It stretched from the water tower in a town called Wintersville, Ohio (if you read my Lord of Columbia blog you’ll know more on the subject), all the way to the water tower at the West Virginia-Pennsylvania line by the hospital in Weirton.
The Matthews Training Empire
That was the original Matthews Empire, between 2013-2016. Wintersville, Steubenville, Weirton, they were all mine from a fitness stance, and from the hill on which my parents lived just past the city limits of both Wintersville and Steubenville, one saw the whole empire as if overlooking the Land of Narnia.
I drove that hill every day, as it’s the sole way to reach the Ohio Valley, where a river separates Ohio from West Virginia. Each day, I dreaded going to work, not knowing if I made an order filling error and if a write up was imminent (which often occurred at the place for everyone), or what time I was getting out of work that night.
But, something always gave me hope as I drove that narrow road, where the horizon blared with blue and white over the trees. Looking to the right, the Wintersville water tower gleamed in the horizon, sunbeams gleaming from its white top while a nearby church steeple pointed to the sky.
To its left, Steubenville shone in the near-distance, upon the adjacent hill. The old community college which served as my stomping grounds between 2009-2012 greeted my line of sight, as well as its large water tower that was erected in the early-2000s. The City Clock, which is a converted water tower, stands not far to its left. And little beyond the tower was a base of mine housing the parents of a once-loyal sidekick and best friend, who dreamed with me during those hell-raising summer days in 2014, when my Empire was at its peak.
To the left, down in the heart of the valley, stands the Veterans Memorial Bridge overlooking the Ohio River before crossing into West Virginia. A look further left one can pinpoint the hospital on the very edge of town before the horizon expands into Pennsylvania, far off in the distance.
That area, the entire area, the region, was home to the Matthews Training Empire, where my near-monoply once reigned on the edge of that West Virginia town.
And let me tell you something; that overly depressed feeling I had during my early days working in that warehouse left. The dread, the fear, the thought of a potential 2pm to 2am work shift that involved filling orders for companies with government contracts to build weapons to sell to nations bullying other nations, the hatred of what I’d signed up for—it all vanished.
It was gone. For two seconds, the nostalgic feeling reminded me who I was, what I wanted in life, and who I always wanted to be. Or what I became, and what I longed to return to. For two seconds, I wasn’t Todd the average nobody, but Todd the Personal Trainer, and now Urban Fantasy Author plus Internet Marketer. I was who the powers that be intended me to become.
It’s like that scene in The Lion King, where Mufasa reminds Simba of who he really is, even as Simba protests he’s not who he used to be.
I’m sure we’re all familiar with that scene.
Return to Your Nostalgic Haven
So, when you’re facing hardship, doubt, or you’ve had it and you simply want to throw in the towel and give up, do yourself a favor and go. Go back to that place of nostalgia, as it’s likely not far from where you’re reading this right now.
But even if it is, I’m sure you’ll return to your nostalgic haven someday. And when you do, those old feelings that may’ve been long forgotten will stir up again, upon your return, and with them, you’ll be back in your driver’s seat, remembering—remembering why you embarked on such an important journey to begin with.
Where you’re at right now, even if you’re in Corporate America, isn’t your final destination. I can guarantee you that. Even if you haven’t embarked, if you’ve had every excuse in the book as to why you haven’t embarked, I guarantee you’ll remember who you are and what you always wanted in life.
You’ll remember who you always wanted to be and where you wanted to go. You’re back in the place where the shades of your life’s journey await. Now it’s time to start that journey.
For internet marketers in any capacity, taking the first step of action is crucial, and I know a platform that will help you get to where you want to go that you can try for free with nothing down, no credit, debit, nothing but a freebie test drive.
Give Wealthy Affiliate a shot today, as it just may’ve been the sign you’re looking for, as you return to your place of nostalgia, to remember what you wanted in life, and it wasn’t the dreary state of existence you’re in today.
In fact, nostalgia may be the spark you needed to break free of corporate binds and Ditch Corporate America once and for all.