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I grew up in the city of Toronto, then moved away for almost a decade.

I'm working back in Toronto this summer. I visited my old primary school and the park beside it, where a lot of my nostalgic happiness is concentrated. It's strange to be flooded by sights which are familiar and at the same time unfamiliar. Of course things change over time, but I was surprised at how distanced I felt from everything. The place conjured up fond memories, but I found my whole experience to be rather nonchalant.

A lot of people claim childhood to be the happiest time of their lives. For a period of time I questioned this. I remember a lot of boredom in my primary years and a lot of uncontrollable angst. At least now I know what makes me happy and what I want to do with my life. So, for a while I thought nostalgic happiness was just an illusion. I'm not so sure about that anymore. There must have certainly been some factors that made childhood happier.

For me, the main thing might be self-belief. I've developed a lot of anxieties over the years as I struggle to cope with uncertainty. These anxieties are mostly questions like "can I get a fulfilling job? Will I be able to find a significant other?" When I was younger I never thought about these things and thought that doing well in school and having fun was all that mattered.

In my younger years, I also had a lot of mundane obsessions. An example was beating a game in a certain way. Whenever boredom overtook me, I would just think about that obsession, and I'd feel better. I no longer have these obsessions anymore, as I realized a couple of years ago how meaningless they were. But that might have accelerated my anxieties a bit more as now I have nothing to be obsessed about.

So the reason for my nonchalance in revisiting my primary school might be because I know myself and the world better now. I don't want to go back to the naive haze of childhood, where everything felt so clear and easy, even at the cost of increased happiness.

Well, that's my explanation for why I think childhood feels happier. What are your thoughts?
Generally with Nostalgia, the reason why its so popular is because we have SELECTIVE MEMORIES. So good times are highlighted more in your mind than say all the filler boring shit.

I remember nostalgia with games, and going back to play them and a lot of the time I get sad because I don't feel the same about them anymore than previously.

Its interesting looking at it from a film angle though as there is a theory that when making a film, you can never go wrong with setting your film in the 70's/80's/90's because:
1. The people that lived in those times will selectively remember the good times of back then.
2. People such as myself love to think about what it was like back then and imagine.

Of course if you can always choose to repress those memories making this whole post invalid but yeaaaaaaaaah.

I'd like to be able to go back to my primary school just to see how much it has changed.
it's obvious that we only remember the good adventures, why would we try to keep in mind "Okay so 14 years ago i was sitting in my room and I was bored". It's not an illusion of happiness because it actually was happiness. As you said, life seemed a lot more clear and easy and it was. Back then, I didnt think about how to write a job resume, I was not stressed about school exams. You wouldnt go back to the "naive haze" of childhood but I would.

Not to escape responsibilities but to be free of troubles that are not even worth having. We humans get stressed about so many stupid things nowadays like how to write the most perfect job resume in the world, some people start losing their minds, crying their eyes out and thinking about killing themselves because they got 88% on their exam instead of 90% (I made that out but you know what I mean). When we were kids, I think we actually saw the bigger picture.

I knew what I wanted to do with my life back then and I still do now, my goals have not changed. Difference is that as kids, we didnt over-react over small troubles like we do now, which are actually 0.0001 of what life is
^Tru dat

I could be a lot happier if I did stop worrying so much.
Memories are like frames per second that your mind remembers. When something is new, or fun, your brain functions at (lets say) 60fps+

Whenever somthing is boring, old, or not new to you (rewatching the 24th episode of house for example, or doing the monkey bars for the umpeenth time) your brain functions memory memorizer at around, 20-30 frames depending on how old/boring the memory.

Which is why time seems to go faster the longer you live.
There's also a portuguese word 'saudade' which describes the feeling of longing to a place or a person you can't possibly return to. There's no translation of that word to english. I think it's a pretty sweet word actually, and also sort of sad.

On the discussion of memory, I remember reading that understimulation lead to "memory loss", or rather, the brain sort things out when they become mundane or repetitive. When you do new things, learn new stuff and things like that, you remember it easier.

Funny thing is though, that doing boring and mundane things feels like it takes forever at the moment but you can't recall back to it and the years feel shorter while doing fun stuff makes time fly but makes the years seem longer in retrospect. I find that slightly fascinating.