I recently bought a Final Fantasy 7 piano sheet collection. It holds all the popular songs that I used to cherish while playing Final Fantasy 7 back in the 1990s. For those of you who don’t know what FF7 is, it was a popular role-playing game on the Playstation that I used to play for hours and hours on end. Nonstop. It brought me into a different world of romance and friendships and adventure.
I was truly enamored with the game and loved playing Final Fantasy piano pieces ever since. Playing these songs bring me back to the “good old days” of simply staying at home and playing video games. It was a grand time. The game also sends me thinking wistfully of living a life of adventure. Of travelling the world. Meeting new friends. Encountering challenges and overcoming them. And yes, even finding a romantic partner to spend your life with.
This game was a blessing for me, and I am glad to have been a big fan of the game and the music. Thinking nostalgically is kind of a double-edged sword for me. On one hand, you are thinking fondly of memories that have passed. You realize that you’ve had good times with friends and family members, and it makes you want to cherish these memories and hold onto them forever. On the other hand, sometimes you get too caught up into the comparison game. You think about how you are doing now compared with how you were doing in the past. And sometimes, that’s not always healthy.
So, I don’t know what to make of nostalgia. I guess with the right perspective, it can be healthy and lead to a happier and more productive life. You just got to remember fondly of the past. And just think about how good you’ve had it in life. Final Fantasy is a trigger for me to remember the past with a fond and kind heart.
It was an amazing game filled with action, love, adventure, and self-development. You would “level up” every time you finish a certain number of fights or challenges in life. It’s not necessarily that direct in real life, but there is a sort of similarity to reality as well. The more challenges you face, the more experience you gain. The more skills you learn. The greater strengths you develop. It’s not as linear but the general gist of it is similar.
So, whenever I play Final Fantasy songs, like To Zanarkand or Aerith’s Theme, I get wistfully swept back up into my childhood when I was heavily invested into these characters. And they made me kind of heart-warmed and even sad when they encounter tragedies within the game. It’s hard to describe. But, a good game makes you feel kind of linked to these characters and their well-being. And that’s what Final Fantasy did for me.
Nowadays, I like to play their songs for fun. The People of the North Pole. To Zanarkand. Melodies of Life. Eyes On Me. All great songs that just sweep me back to the past in a good way. I think nostalgically of my childhood and realize that I’ve had it good. That I had a healthy past. That I didn’t encounter much toxicity amongst my family and friends. I had a wonderful childhood.
And it makes me want to give back and contribute to the community every little way I can. Whether it be volunteering to provide companionship for the elderly. Or to help fellow Toastmaster members improve their communication skills. I feel like I need to find ways to help others to live a more fulfilling life.
But, yes, playing the piano sometimes makes my heart warm when I play the right piece. That’s the beauty of the music. That’s the beauty of the past. Of thinking back with good memories. No need to compare nor contrast. No need to see whether you’re better off now or worse off now. Just see the past as a blessing. All your experiences - good or bad - are a blessing for you to learn and grow into the individual you are today.
And hopefully in ten years, I can look back at today with fondness and nostalgia and wistfulness as well. As a wonderful time of days gone by, when I had it all. And I still have it all. There was never a time in my life when I was depressed or super bummed out. Even when I was going thru break ups. Or failures. I lived life with decency and sufficiency. I feel like humans can be a resilient bunch. And we can let life’s failures shape us into better human beings.
I feel that every opportunity is a learning experience for us to grow and better ourselves. The more experience we accumulate, the more we can “level up” in this world. The more we “level up”, the more capabilities we have to contribute and give back to this wonderful society. So, look back at your past with fondness. Look back with decency. Don’t attach nor grasp for the past again. Just look back and let go and appreciate what has been. Because what has been has led to what is now.
And what is now is all we have in this moment. So, appreciate it when it comes. And when it goes. And let the past sweep you off your feet with beauty and wonder.