Coming from someone who has returned to familiar places far too many times, I can truthfully say that no experience is ever the same the second time around.
In life, we learn from our experiences. Our experiences shape what we do, who we are, and who we may become in the future. The place that we grew up, our family, our friends, our past relationships, all of these things play a vital role in how we view the world and even how we view ourselves.
Of course, not every experience necessarily leaves us with the warmest or fuzziest of feelings. Even something that was once a good thing could have turned into our biggest tragedy. In those times, we may flee.
We flee to escape pain or regret, sadness or sorrow. And amidst our hurt, we attempt to seek out peace. And on this journey, we often get lost. But, despite losing our way and trekking off the beaten path, we will eventually find ourselves. We eventually find our way.
There is always a reason for why we leave people or things behind – They may have caused us too much pain. We may have outgrown them. We may have been seeking out something better or new. Whatever the reason may be, it left enough of a mark on us to cause us to take action.
Sometimes you need to leave something (or someone) behind in order to come back to it later. Sometimes we leave because we know that someday we will come back. We know that “right now” may not necessarily be the right time.
The thing is, if (or when) we return, we will not have the same experience that we once had. Because when we left, we learned. We searched our soul. We reflected. We matured.
We may find that the second time around, we have more appreciation for what once was. We are more prepared in handling difficult situations. We are stronger.
Or, we may come to finally understand the reasons we left in the first place. And that’s okay too.