Recently, I went on a vacation by myself. I left the Vegas Valley desert for San Diego, California, a place that I called home for at least a third of my life.
On my trip, I reserved a day to spend away from friends and activities just to visit old schools, workplaces, residences, and special places. I was quite excited to reconnect and commune with these memories, as well as test my internal compass and sense of direction. I wanted to see if I could find my way around town by the flickering memories and subconscious hunches about old shortcuts. Ironically, this old magic ritual, which has worked countless times before, made me feel emotionally unmoored from many of my formative places.
Sure, I found myself in a deeply introspective mood, but unlike prior visits, I no longer felt any kinship with these places or memories. It wasn’t that any particular location had experienced any profound changes. It was because this time, this trip, the memories I wanted so badly to rekindle and replay, didn’t belong to me anymore. These memories and places that had tempered me had been replaced by so many new adventures, people, and tribulations that their impact and significance had waned, seemingly overshadowed by the shock of disconnection, disassociation, and the hindsight of reflection.
I did not necessarily find this new shift in awareness to be disturbing. More succinctly, I found wisdom that I didn’t realize had been earned, as well as a genuine appreciation for all that I had been given for the journey that has made me. I thought about where I was going next and felt pangs of grief for those who had been left behind or could not accompany me further. Yet, in that moment, I was not overcome with despair, but with a strange confidence that I was untethered. Unattached from the past, the present, and maybe even the future too.
In that moment, I was a ship at sea, unafraid of where I was, but too far-traveled to return to port, yet indifferent of my course and heading.
I was both excited and comfortable to be me.
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Originally Published on Radio Free Las Vegas
Photo Credit: Pixabay