In a world so corrupt and tainted, how else to cope but to escape into anemoia?

This is one of the many books to spark the undeniable nostalgia for a time Ive never known.

Eva LaBeau

This is one of the many books to spark the undeniable nostalgia for a time I’ve never known.

There’s nothing that hurts me more than the incredulous hate that our world, for some unknown reason, seems to revolve around. Anemoia is defined as the nostalgia for a time one has never known, and I have always felt this so strongly and so deeply in my core that it’s almost unbearable.

I read classic books from a century ago—and sure, their ideals weren’t always the best back then— but there was an inborn passion for love and life itself. Even if it wasn’t all morally or logically right, it was there nonetheless. 

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Jane Eyre

Wuthering Heights. 

The Bell Jar. 

Les Miserables.

Nothing was the same, but, though I don’t care to admit it, it wasn’t all that different.

Each of these books has something so rarely found in today’s world. It’s hard to put a finger on exactly which quality is so unique, but it sparks an undeniable feeling of anemoia. Unrequited love. Aristocratic women find happiness in the boy next door. An ethereally beautiful painting subject whose true colors are revealed through an immovable representation of him. 

I imagine being able to dance in a flowy gown with a kind stranger with live music in a mansion, onlookers wondering who we are and how we’ve gotten there. Frankly, we wouldn’t even know, ourselves. I imagine reading a classic on a hill in the middle of nowhere, and the boy next door coming to sit next to me. He’d take the book in his hands, and we’d lay on the grass, making shapes in our minds out of the clouds. 

I imagine an ex-convict creating a new name for himself—both figuratively and literally—and finding his true passion in a new family and the camaraderie in that. If only I could time-travel. If only I could see what the world was really like then, rather than the romanticization in the media. Maybe, then, I’d not be so attached. 

What happened to noble house parties every Saturday with the whole town, dancing and singing together in someone’s living room? What happened to the world being a safe place to be happy? I would never in a million years dance with a stranger at a party in today’s world, but, for some reason, I can’t shake the anemoia surrounding the idea. 

It was simpler back then. There were no phones and no Instagram and no TikTok. Nothing was the same, but, though I don’t care to admit it, it wasn’t all that different. That’s not to say the omnipresent ideals of certain political and human rights issues weren’t disturbing, to say the least. I’m not saying otherwise. 

But people had genuine relationships with each other. You could walk into a town store and know everybody there. You could dance carelessly on the sidewalk of a small city and not be criticized, but rather joined by a neighbor or a passerby.

It’d be so nice if I could just escape into the anemoia.