I swung by my old place of employ the other day, just to pick up Bethany for lunch, but I got there a little early and, begrudgingly, decided to go inside. Nothing like a visit to the past, I suppose, to show you where you are.
It was a mixture of feelings being in there. I mean, on the one hand, it felt so familiar still. After having spent so many years there, I suppose it would. It was like revisiting an old school or apartment and sort of thinking, hello, old chap, you haven't changed a bit. And realizing that I have. Leaps and bounds in such a short time. Quintessentially, I guess I'm pretty much the same girl that graced that old room, but in some very minute, but dare I say, profound, ways, I am quite changed. And I am ever thankful for that.
On the other hand, I felt so far removed from that place. Like it was another lifetime. And I had one moment of dread when I thought, "What if the last three months have been a dream and I really still work here?" And for a second, I seriously felt like it could be true and panicked. That was a weird moment.
There were some new people and a few old familiars, which was comforting. All excited to see me and hear about my new life. Oh, and how good it felt to have so much to tell and to be so genuinely happy about it! And somewhere in the back of my mind or heart or wherever, while I was talking, I suddenly knew something. I went in there for a reason. I needed that visit to show me how far I've come and how much I've learned and how good it feels to be just where I am in life and that however overwhelming it's been at times it's only getting better and better and I wouldn't go back to my life before for the world. It was good to solidify that. There was some real joy in that unforeseen confirmation.
So it was an unexpected and truly happy visit for me. When I left, they told me that they miss their sunshine. Which is the best thing I could ever ask for, to be thought of as sunshine. I always had this thought, actually, that I want to greet people like the sunrise and leave them like the sunset. And yes, I get poetic with my life in my thoughts, but I've always been that way.
But really, I do want that. I want for everyone I encounter to feel warmed and welcomed and illuminated and awake and aware and then, when I walk away, to feel whatever it is you feel when you watch the sunset. And I know everyone feels something when they watch the sunset, pretty deeply, you can tell when you watch people watching the sunset.
I'm sure it's a different feeling for everyone, of course, but to me it's the beautiful sweet sorrow of life and also the wonder of the day that has been and of the magic of creation and thankful for what was and of the day that is to come and of how much we don't know but how crazy and strange it is to say good bye to a day and know that it is forever gone and then know too that there is another one to welcome and we don't know what it will bring and time just keeps passing and you can't even pause it for one second but it is just so amazing to be here at all even though it's sad too.
In any case, after my poignant life moment, Bethany and I went to lunch at the Fat Dog, which was one of our old favorites to go to on our lunch breaks together. That is something I miss. Lunches with Bethany. However, not enough to wish for what was. I know now, with certainty, that I am meant to shine my light on new horizons.
And for that I remain, life, your humble student. Thank you for always finding creative ways of speaking to me. Truly. I thank you.