Home sweet home
There’s something to be said about the comforts of home.
I was in my hometown last weekend visiting family and friends. I don’t make it back nearly as often as I could/should, but when I do, I just love being there. There’s a certain comfort and soothing nostalgia that I can’t get in any other city. It rejuvenates me and makes me feel whole. I wish I could bottle it up and keep a secret stash.
I’d be lying if I said it was all good, though. I mean, yeah, there’s the joy of seeing longtime friends, romping through old neighborhoods, visiting my alma mater – all that good stuff. But for me, being home also brings about sporadic recollections of decisions and actions of my young adult years I’d just as soon forget.
Here’s how it typically goes: I drive down familiar streets and pass notable sites and old hangouts, recalling very specific moments of a younger Angela’s world. I mean, those were some good times and I appreciate being able to revel in so many good memories. But in the back of my mind, there’s also this self-given disapproving nod for all the not-so-good times. Times when I was being selfish. Being irresponsible. Being dishonest. And...just being. I struggle with it. Every. Single. Visit.
On the drive back to my current city, I spent a lot of time thinking about how and why I can’t shake the weight of those less than stellar days. “I’ve grown. I’ve learned. I’m better than I was back then,” I said out loud in the car. Then it dawned on me – I’m not supposed to shake those days, because 2017 Angela doesn't exist without 2002 Angela, 2005 Angela, 2009 Angela....you get the idea.
Forgive the generic metaphor, but think of your life as a puzzle. You need every piece to make a total picture – even the bent, tattered pieces that get lost between the cushions of the couch. As I get older and work to be the best possible version of myself, sometimes I’d rather forget times when I, quite frankly, just wasn’t getting it right. And while my instinct may be to push those memories between the cushions of the couch, my choice has to be different. Has to be better.
\\ You need every piece of your puzzle to make a total picture -- even the bent, tattered pieces that you wish were lost. \\
And so I’m choosing to embrace all my pieces…even the bent ones. I’m choosing to forgive myself. I’m choosing to appreciate my evolution. And I’m choosing to recognize that part of realizing my future is embracing my past.
It's all a choice and it's yours to make. Keep moving forward. Hope it helps!