I suppose for me, the “good old days” were when I was in college. I had a measure of independence beyond what I have now, plus I had the ability to socialize with people my own age. I don’t drink, so I don’t go to bars and/or clubs to meet people, I’m an atheist, so anything involving going to a church or church function is out of the question, and I don’t have any real hobbies aside from blogging, listening to music, and browsing bookstores and libraries. So being in school was a way that I don’t have now to make friends. One of my roommates I’m still close with to this day, in fact her birthday is tomorrow.
Also, and I suppose it’s somewhat vain or superficial, but there’s something about saying you’re in your early 20s that you don’t get to experience when you’re in your early 30s, and back then, I felt like I had more of my life ahead of me. Now, I have moments where I feel like I’m just playing out the clock. I know, that sounds infinitely depressing, and in many ways, it is.
A runner-up in the “salad days” sweepstakes would be growing up in Chicago. I loved it, though you couldn’t pay me to move back now. I don’t think I could handle the winters anymore, not after spending 13 years in the South, also, the gun violence is off the charts. I’d be terrified to walk around, even in broad daylight. Growing up, it wasn’t as problematic as it seems to be now. I had a lot of independence, more than I even had when I was in college. Not needing a car to get around, I could just take any number of buses or trains to go to the mall, the movie theater, downtown, you name it. I guess in a way they’re tied.