as humans, we are constantly-evolving entities. we live, we experience, we grow, and we change. that's kinda what this whole "life" thing is all about, isn't it? every day, we wake up and take steps that make us who we are, and who we will be, and all of those steps are informed by the thousands, millions even, of teeny steps we've taken before our feet even hit the floor in the morning and carry us through another day of living. so if we're on a never-ending people-mover called life, the ways in which we interpret the world around us change every day, and the difference in perspective a month, a year or a decade can make is huge. what we pull from the images, songs, books, movies, television shows, places and things that we encounter, and how we interpret and understand these experiences, is dictated by where we are in our lives, the relationships we're in and the mental and emotional roller coasters we're riding at that specific moment.
so what happens when we re-encounter something from our past? this time around, we're consuming this speck of life differently, with all of the experiences since the previous encounter stacking up to reach new heights of perspective and new methods of understanding that will, invariably, differ from the lenses through which our former selves experienced that moment. that is not to say that the ice cream you ate when you were six will be drastically different than the mint chip cone you were licking five minutes ago; in fact, lots of things and experiences probably don't change that much: cool sand between your toes is always a delight, but that moment at 16 and that moment at 28 evoke very different emotional and connotative responses, thanks to the 12 years of relationships, parties, failures, journeys, people and, well, life, in between.
we are constantly confronting the past. but what happens when we intentionally subject ourselves to the re:experience? read a favorite book from your childhood sometime and you might find that although the romance on which you'd based all of your pre-teen fantasies is nothing like real life, there are inappropriate adult references that your once-innocent young mind glossed over with little more import than a foreign phrase randomly inserted into insipid romance. or try listening to a song that you blared angrily through your first breakup, and you'll laugh at the angst-ridden lyrics that felt so true at the moment, yet so trite in retrospect.
i've made a habit of this in my personal life: re-reading favorite books, re-watching long-adored movies, re-visiting former-favorite TV shows and re-rocking out to once-beloved ballads. i've found that in many cases, the magic doesn't hold up to the test of time. i've been offended by once-innocuous dialogue, i've scoffed at over-wrought teen drama and i've laughed at things i've since learned to recognize as simple ploys. but sometimes, i find new life and enjoyment in these re:experiences, a new way to understand and appreciate a character, or an unexpected understanding of a particular plot point. these are the moments i hope to categorize and chronicle on this blog, to understand my place in the world around me then, and now.
this is the re:experience project.