Sitting comfortably at the BA lounge at Heathrow (guilty as charged – paying the Idiot Tax again) I am gearing up to pay a visit to my past. I have a tendency to leave for good when I go. While it sounds terminal and irrevocable – moving on has somehow always come easy for me.
No, it’s not the physicality of cities, the smells of gardens in my old neighborhoods, streets where pairs of shoes wore off, the colors, the same old familiar skyline, the schools that quenched my disobedient thirst. Somehow my memories are always etched because of people – the hunger for the un-solitude, the smiles, the talks, the laughs, the heated arguments and serendipity of associations, the depth or not of each encounter.
Three cities marked my life – and today I am going back to the one that shattered my fairy tale and marked my entry into true independence. If I were to be the master of my life, I had to take certain tough decisions – and that’s where I took them. And in the process, I found out who and what I was made of – strengths, insecurities, fears, mistakes, joys, victories and losses – all together lumped into what I’ve eventually become. Going back seems awkward. Will the memories flood my senses with some painfully vivid moments, or will I rejoice in the vibrancy of re-discovering what I have for sure forgotten? Not knowing what to expect makes me uncomfortable – and that is enough to make me also schizophrenically excited as I will for sure find something totally new. “If you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail..”
Details of my story are truly irrelevant. All people have their own – and it’s the connections, outcomes, conclusions and lessons we can draw from challenges, hardships, struggles, and the hope and inspiration that comes with perseverance, resilience, determination. No matter what, we own our lives – and nobody owns us. And for some of us, it is easier to walk forward and not look back – while some will be doing just the opposite, examining and analyzing what happened so they can learn and move on.
There is no right or wrong here. What matters is what Charles Darwin said: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change…”