Making new memories at old places
Today I had a lovely day, wandering around Sheffield's Botanical Gardens with the gorgeous Shannon Alexandra. I haven't been to the gardens in what must have been over 10 years. Maybe even 12, or 13. The last time I went was with family members I no longer have contact with. I remember the day so clearly.
It was actually a really happy day, one of few with them. It had snowed really heavily, and we were building a snowman out front and having a snowball fight. It was so quiet, we were the only ones there (or so I remember). That was so liberating to me as a small child. It felt freeing.
Looking back to then, and considering how much has changed since, it's so weird to contemplate. I wasn't purposely avoiding the place - the memory only came back to me when I was sat staring at the lawn whilst waiting for Shannon to arrive. But it did make me think about how, in the past, I have stopped myself from going to places that I believed I would rather just, forget.
Just over a year ago, I wrote a blog post called Reflection | Association where I discussed associating places with people and how that has impacted me in the past. It is actually one of my favourite blog posts, I really felt like I articulated exactly what I wanted to say in the right way at the right time. Reading it back right now, I got goosebumps, and felt slightly emotional.
It's the last line that I wrote (I would recommend going back and reading the whole post, and it really adds more context to this topic) that sticks with me. "And to my friend [the one whom the previous post/place was about], if you're reading this, the trees are much greener that they used to be. :) or so they seem."
And that's the thing.
It is actually really therapeutic to go back to places that we thought we would rather forget. Places that once held bad memories - or maybe even good ones. Maybe they were too painfully bittersweet. Maybe you just had to forget. Going back allows you to not only create new memories, and new associations, but it also allows you to see things different, reflect, and acknowledge the journey you have been on since you were last there. As mentioned in that blog post, this isn't just about places. It's about songs, TV shows, movies... anything you shared, can now be just yours. You are blessed with the time and the scope to rewrite your story.
It is always prettier, and never as dull as you remember. Because this time you are blessed with something magical. Something so special. That being perspective. It's a glorious thing.
Bye for now,