I sat by the ocean yesterday and thoughts filled my heart with memories of my old life. The laughs I used to share, the jokes I used to tell and the places I used to wander off to. I thought about old loves and old crushes, I laughed at myself a little wondering what was I thinking at certain times in my life.
I laughed about the times I thought I was lonely and would crawl into a bed I didn’t even want to be in just so I didn’t have to be alone. I shook my head at all the moments I cried over realizing how little my problems then really were. And I smiled. I smiled because all those stupid decisions and moments I experienced all brought me to where I am at this moment.
I let the water creep up and touch my toes as each white cap rolled over and crashed against the shore. I watched the seagulls fly around the pier and the clouds move through the sky.
I’ve seen this same view since I was a kid going on vacations down to Florida or Myrtle Beach. I’ve felt the salty ocean against my skin in Maine and California, I’ve walked down different piers in different countries and I’ve seen birds fly most days of my life.
I realized in that moment that my life isn’t the same as it was when I was a kid touching the ocean for the first time. It’s much different now, but the water still feels the same and the scenery doesn’t change much when you’re standing at the edge of where the water meets the land.
It’s the same view I’ve seen so many times before, but this time it’s in a different country, this time I’m three connecting flights and a day ahead of the oceans I’ve previously touched.
And I realized that nothing’s really the same, it’s like everything and nothing have changed all at once.
I thought of the past and as much as I miss it I will never get it back.
I thought of you.
Even if I touched your hand again the spark won’t be there like it was the first time. Even if I kissed your lips who is to say they will still feel like home. Even if we escaped to some secluded location by the lake like we used to do so many times before who is to say we’d even enjoy it.
I thought a lot about you, about our past and our memories. I thought about how young and carefree we were, how sometimes I wish I could go back to being so naïve and worry free. Our biggest concern was getting caught.
We were too damn young to know any better.
The thing is I don’t know if I’d go back even if I could now.
The ocean reminds me that there’s a whole world out there filled with things we will never see or experience. With you things were fun, they were easy and simple, but they didn’t fulfill me. With you I only saw part of the world, but on my own I’m seeing more. I’m finding new places to get lost in, I’m exploring my own parts of the world and discovering things I didn’t even know existed when I was with you.
In this very moment I’m reminded that in 20 more years when I stand at the edge of an ocean, no matter what ocean it is, that I’ll think back to this. I’ll look back at this part of my life and I’ll smile. I’ll think about all the stupid decisions I’m currently making and I’ll laugh because I didn’t have any idea what’s ahead of me.
And I’ll realize it’s okay to look back. It’s okay to miss the past, but I have to keep moving forward wherever I am at that point in my life because even though the ocean makes time seem to stand still, it’s still moving forward. It okay to look back as long as you don’t stop.