It’s impossible to say that you were the same person you were 10 years ago, or even five years ago. Heck, sometimes within the time period of one month the constants in your life can be completely altered.
From graduation to graduation, from elementary school to middle school and now to my senior year of high school, I can say that I’m definitely not who I was a couple years ago. Gone are the bowl cut hairstyle I had for the first six years of my life, the Limited Too clothing I thought was cool in my fifth and sixth grade years and the strange taste in music I had in middle school.
Yes, outwardly I’ve changed but the things that I cared most about at certain points in my life have changed as well. I can pinpoint the two places that have left behind distinctive memories in mind: the school I went to for kindergarten and my community pool.
Recently I visited both of these places and was overwhelmed with a wave of nostalgia. It was just so weird to think of how important these places were to me at some point in my life yet now are completely stuck in the past.
Last summer I visited my old kindergarten. While there were some minor renovations within the 10 years that I had last walked the halls, almost everything was left as it was. The lady at the front desk was the same; she even remembered our names. We walked past the familiar front office and the long row of cubbies where we would leave our lunch pails. It was eerily satisfying seeing the tiny playground that I spent hours of my day in. Everything was as I remembered – but a lot smaller. It’s strange to think that in that point in my life all I cared about was coming to this small school every day and playing with my small friends in the small, small playground.
Flash forward to just last week. After school, I stopped by the pool and drove home from there. It was incredibly nostalgic driving along the same road my mom had driven on to send me to swim practice for seven years before I finally quit club swim in my sophomore year. Seeing smaller versions of myself getting dropped off by parents and trudging along to swim practice made me miss all of this. Again, at this time I thought swimming was the single most important thing in my life and would spend hours at practice every day. I mean, the biggest concern I had at the time was whether or not our coach would make us swim the dreaded mile that week. The idea of high school and applying to colleges wasn’t even planted in my mind yet.
Now I’m confronted with the overwhelming question of what the heck I want to do for the rest of my life. But I’ve found that it can help to look back every once in awhile and revisit simpler times.