‘Last week, I ventured back to where I lived 10 years ago. It was all so different.’: Woman reflects on past self during trip home

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“Last week, I ventured back to where I lived 10 years ago.

I made a haircut appointment at the salon I used to frequent.

I envisioned the area I would be in like I envision my childhood home.

I was giddy.

It felt like I was going to meet up with an old friend.

But as I neared the little town, I found it wasn’t so little anymore.

Quiet back roads I used to take were now bustling.

The quaint apartment complex I used to live in had seemingly quadrupled.

The gas station pumps had doubled.

The 2 roundabouts along the way had turned into 5.

After the haircut, I crossed the parking lot to grab a snack at the grocery store I used to go to.

2 minutes from my apartment and 7 minutes from Parade Shift, it was my go-to.

I moseyed in and mindlessly wandered toward the restrooms—finding myself instead in an administrative office.

The produce was where the dairy used to be. The wine where the snacks used to be.

It was all so different.

The phrase ‘you can’t go home again’ rings true.

But not just for locations.

I think I made the hike to try to meet up with myself.

To catch up with that girl.

As we grow, it’s tempting to want to go ‘home.’

To revert back to old tendencies.

Let our anxiety shell us in instead of ripping us open.

It sounds inviting sometimes.

Even logical.

I thought about that girl that lived in that ‘tiny town’ 10 years ago.

With all those tendencies and rejections and fears and loneliness and mismanaged anxiety.

I wanted to hug her.

Years ago, I might look back on pieces of my past and abruptly close the drawer, praying it quickly collected dust.

But on this day, I found myself dusting off those drawers and thumbing through each story inside.

I can’t go back to her.

I can’t take her to therapy sooner.

I can’t pull her from relationships she should’ve run from.

I can’t tell her that letting her pain rip her wide open is a hell of a lot better than shelling in.

But I can accept her.

Love her.

And in the decisions I make learned through her, I can wrap her in the hug I so deeply want to—every single day.

PS: Past Kelsey would overthink harmless, joyful things like a haircut car selfie. BUT we hug her and post the darn selfie just. for. her.”

Courtesy of Kelsey Pfleiderer

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Kelsey Pfleiderer. Follow her journey on Instagram and FacebookDo you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your journey. Submit your own story here.

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