Back when my grandmother and her siblings were still alive, my parents arranged a dinner for them. They sat next to each other and had over 240 years of memories to share. All they talked about, was the past, which makes sense. Having lived through a huge economic crisis and a World War, they had done their part. Soon, the world would go on without them and they were at peace with themselves. All that was left, was their long lives to reflect upon.
Sometimes, I eat with former colleagues. We were a very close-knit team. We gossip about other former colleagues or interns, and swap the occasional memory. I notice that some of them have remained in that past. As the world moved on, their careers and lives stagnated. Most individual team members have found other occupations and are more experienced, and in some cases even leaders in their own teams. One or two are still where they were five years ago. It is these people that do not talk about anything else than 'back then'.
I know somebody who is about my age and keeps looking back to her best times. In terms of career and life, she is dead in the water. She is bright and talented in her field and could have a successful career if she acted upon it. However, she chooses to sit back and look back at the past. It frustrates me. I am trying not to be judgmental, but I see her slipping away from her former self by clinging to her past.
As man in my late thirties, I have seen and done plenty of stuff. When a colleague of mine got married, he introduced me to his wife as 'the man from the stories'. However, I will staunchly refuse sitting back and telling my personal anecdotes over and over again. There is too much to look forward to, so much left to discover and so many uncharted territories to explore. Give me a few more decades to reinvent myself again and again.
In half a century, when I have reached a certain well-advanced age, I will join my siblings and friends to share our collective centuries of memories. I'd better have something good to tell then, so please excuse me while I go explore a bit more.