I am back living in the same town I grew up in. I have been back for about 2 years now. I like it here, always have. I think it is being so close to the coast that is the big appeal to me, and the drive to get there is gorgeous; no freeways or bogged down traffic in getting there. I believe it to be my very own Mediterranean, here in the US.
In getting home from running errands and such, I sometimes take back roads and wind up driving by my old Apartment to where I used to live in my early to mid-twenties. Always telling myself that I would like to go back there, check the place out, see how it has changed and just peruse down memory lane.
Today, I did just that. Driving home from the dreaded Mechanic’s, I drove past my old place I shared with my roommate at that time – and at the last minute, made a quick left leading me up the drive to where I used to dwell.
I found a parking place and sat in my car for a spell, just checking out how the place has matured, happy to see that it is better taken care of now – than when I lived there. The trees were more mature, the building was painted a pretty green, and the landscaping was inviting.
I decided to get out and actually walk to where my apartment used to be, which is on the lowest tier – which means lots of steps in getting there. I had my cell phone with me to snap pictures, to have and share with those than know my story.
In walking there, I was quickly reminded just how many stairs there were at different grade levels, and how steep they were. I laughed out loud remembering the late nights stumbling home after dancing and drinking, wondering how in God’s tarnation I never broke an ankle traversing home in the wee hours of the morning and not missing a beat with those damn stairs. I gained a whole new respect for myself in that instant – a small silly victory, but a victory nonetheless.
After the many stairs, I reached my apartment – readied my phone for picture taking and while doing so, had so many memories rush in all at once as to all the experiences I had there… some good, some great, some sad, some downright brutal.
It’s funny how you can look back to your past and almost see yourself as a different person. Not a stranger, per se… but more of a person you reflect on and see how far you’ve come, where you have grown, how those experiences have helped mold you, and some that developed that have become issues to this day – to all but try and overcome.
With so much to gain in the ‘twenties’, there is also so much to lose. I gained great things, great insight, and great knowledge. But just as there are two sides to every coin – I also gained some heartache, some loss, and some situations that caused just as much doubt, as confidence. I refer to the twenties as the full on ‘Yin and Yang’ effect of life.
I am now in my forties (41, to be precise)… and as I reflected today to my old physical address and thoughts of my roommate, to whom I shared so many experiences with – it made me also reflect on the woman I am today.
It has almost been twenty years that have gone by since living at that residence I revisited today, and it made me realize that I am a far better person for the journey I have easily navigated on some days, and heart wrenchingly traversed on others.
I have learned that to yearn to be twenty again is a misnomer. Do I want the youth back? My answer is an irrefutable, “No”. Besides, I am only 41… life has only just begun (or, so they say). But, with that being said – I am also in a deep learning curve now as well. Seems learning never ends.
It comes to us at precise times in our lives. The twenties are almost a trial run to see how well our parents did raising us – if we flop or fly with the parental training wheels off. The forties seem to be another serious time of learning and rediscovering who we are as individuals and how we use our past experiences to guide us to where we are going.
I liked the twenties, all the good with the bad. I like the forties, too. It’s just a whole other level of learning. The twenties may have been the appetizer to life’s buffet, all while the forties seems to be the main course.
I think I now realize why people have mid-life crisis’ in their forties. Renewal and circumspect are the culprits. May we all enjoy the ride we call life and take each day in stride and appreciate where we were, where we are now, and Lord knows where we may all end up.
To take it all too seriously is fleeting. Hindsight is 20/20, and so will this stage be in our journeys. I always thought there would be a stopping point or a finish line to when we are at the point of growth nirvana; I am learning that that day only arrives the day we die.
So, bring on this thing we call the forties and aging, and may we all appreciate the good times as well as the challenging times – and know that we will all be better for it.
Memory Lane stole my attention today, and I thank her for that.