“Just because it’s familiar and comfortable doesn’t mean it’s yours.” – Ada
While this may sound like a warning not to have an affair with an ex, it is actually somethjng much more ssignificant. This is the thought that came to my mind as I looked at the Atlanta skyline. For 17 years this skyline was my home. It is most familiar to me, as the skyline of Houston is still hard for me to recognize. And yet, home is not home anymore in the ATL, because Atlanta is no longer my home. And that is more than just where I live geographically. It is a feeling that carries a specific weight with it. And it permitted every part of my trip to take care of some loose ends.
The streets were comfortable, I knew the way from the airport, from the correct traffic lanes to which shortcuts to take to avoid delays. I knew the streets and the neighborhoods. Memories where all around – there is where I met that guy on a date, this place has the best Mexican food, that is where my Dad liked to eat Rubins and there is where he lived when he died. This is the trail and park I loved to walk, here is my favorite coffee spot, that is my favorite dive bar and there is the best movie theater….
And yet, so many things had changed and it was not the same city I left a 18 months ago. Crime is up, and many places I used to fequent are no longer safe. Indeed, it felt like a bit like the twilight zone – things looked the same, but were starkly different, as if in a parallel universe.
But the visit was magnificent, and it was good to see friends most loved and missed, those that were not there for the last visit. There qas laughter and catching up, and eating at our favorite spots, and celebrations, and butter cake. And there was the wonderful reminder that
You can always go home means something different now. Because that no longer my home…the saying now means that you can make a new space your home, visit and enjoy your old space, then go home where you belong, where your heart is, and where your future lies.
Life is short. And returning to your old stomping ground may be comfortable, more often than not it is no longer home. Because it is no longer your present or your future. So enjoy the visit, and but take a moment to reflect how far yiu have come.