It’s a strange sensation to know a place so incredibly well, yet walk in as an outsider. I worked in the same building for nearly ten years. I know every uneven stair, every stain on the ceiling from the random leaks, every strange little quirk that gave it its unique personality. Over the years I saw dozens of people come and go, many staking their claim, only to move on several years later.
I went to visit my best friend Gail for a lunch date. I was nervous the whole drive over, wondering what it would feel like to be back there. I got to check out the renovations that got underway after I left. I saw old friends and colleagues. I spent about twenty minutes watching a shoot, standing next to the woman who now has my old job.
It was surreal.
I think what I experienced most was sadness mixed with relief. Sadness that time keeps marching and everyone is replaceable, yet relief knowing there is freedom in making the difficult choices, the ones that scare you but you do it anyways.
I loved my time with Gail (though it wasn’t nearly long enough) and I enjoyed the few quick chats I had with friends. For the first time in weeks I missed my old life, but only for a little while. Seeing my children as I walked in the door this evening banished those thoughts away.