I think perhaps the best way to remember how I felt at a time is to go back and listen to an album I played frequently back then.
If I switch on Coldplay's Prospekt's March, I am suddenly in the back seat of my parent's sun warmed car, driving through rural Alberta to the Catholic Family Life Conference back in '08. All the feelings I had then are there, the anticipation of the conference, the anxiety at what it would be like, the sleepiness that I always follows me on roadtrips.
Jack Conte's VS4, and I'm right back in last summer, reading Terry Pratchett in the beautiful sunshine, swinging on a patio swing. Happiness and melancholy and a sense of calm all blurred together.
And, embarrassingly enough, even Avril Lavigne brings back memories. I was obsessed with one of her songs, "Hot" (terrible song in retrospect) and I can remember exactly what the book I was reading was like, and that smug happiness you get when you have just started a good book and you have the whole thing ahead of you.
The "Avril Lavigne Age" is one of the ages I'm most ashamed of, but remembering that helps me to realize what it was really like for me back then, and I understand myself a whole lot more.
Somehow this seems to be the truest way for me to remember years past, not the solid events, but in a snapshot, remembering more how I felt than what exactly I did, what I thought.
For, if we can relate to our past selves, then surely we can learn from them, and that's really my goal in life, to