A Drive Down Memory Lane

Drive-Down-Memory-Lane

The memories hit me like a ton of bricks as we hit the freeway leaving Long Beach.  I didn’t want to go, five hours wasn’t enough time.  I had finally gotten to unite my two loves – my husband and my city.

The two things couldn’t have merged before now.  If I had stayed in Long Beach I’d never have met my love.  Over the years I often regretted leaving Long Beach, but I’ve never regretted meeting my husband.  Life takes us in different directions, down different paths, and in this case, I understand why.

We didn’t come to California simply on vacation, so I knew time for sightseeing would be limited.  I also knew that going to Long Beach for an afternoon would elicit vivid memories and emotions, both of happiness and longing.  I was right.  Though many things had changed, so much was still the same.

friends-reunitedWe had brunch at my favorite ‘locally world famous’ coffee shop where we met up with one of my old and dear friends.  After enjoying the same breakfast I used to have more times than I can remember, the three of us headed over to the Belmont Brewing Company for a memory-inducing Strawberry Blonde beer.  Don’t judge, it was five o’clock somewhere!

One of the many things I love about Long Beach are the one-of-a-kind shops, so I took my husband to a place called Iguana Imports where we picked up a few small souvenirs.  It has been such a long time since I lived in the area that my memory of where everything is located is vague, not to mention the changes that have taken place since I’ve been gone.  Luckily my old friend stuck with us and drove us around!  We ended our afternoon on 2nd Street in Belmont Shores, definitely my favorite area of Long Beach.  The whole street is lined with shops, restaurants, and bars – there is never a dull moment!  As much as I wanted to wander and go into all of my favorite stores there simply wasn’t time.  So we sat on the patio at one of the restaurants and enjoyed another beer in the beautiful sunshine.

love-and-sunshine

Alas, it was time to go.  We said our goodbyes and headed back towards the freeway, away from Long Beach.  I had wanted to swing through my alma mater and show my husband where I spent so much of my college days, but again, no time.  I knew it would be hard but how do you prepare for the flood of emotions in such a situation?  As soon as we hit the freeway hot salty tears stung my face like hundreds of bees under attack.  I wanted to revel in the beauty of the day, the goodness of the memories and having the opportunity to go back for a visit, but the ache of leaving was too much in that moment.

Drive-Down-Memory-Lane 

For the first time, my two worlds merged – a life I had once loved so dearly and the life I love and live today.  I am not the young girl who went to college in California anymore.  I am the married woman who has made a life with her husband in Florida.  Figuring out how these identities converge is a bit overwhelming for me right now, but I am realizing that is ok.  Letting go is hard.  I am not who I thought I was going to be when I was in college, but how many people are?  Life takes us in different directions and down different paths and that’s ok.  I am ok.  

Do you struggle with letting go? Have you experienced a time when your ‘worlds’ collided? If so, how did you deal with it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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22 thoughts on “A Drive Down Memory Lane

  1. I think because I’ve had the luxury of always living close to the places I’ve lived and loved, I’ve never felt that sting of emotions. Though, perhaps I come close every time I leave the mountains… because they are where I find the most peace and every time I drive away there is fear that I will never return and that crashes against the calm I’ve recovered while there…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ah yes, the mountains are lovely. My family used to go to the Rockie’s when I was young, I can see why you have an attachment 🙂 It’s hard to leave the places where we find peace.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love that I now know what strawberry blonde beer is. And to read a bit of your history, and how your past and present collided.

    I collided all my worlds at my 26th birthday party. I just invited EVERYONE and let them all turn up whenever (I hired a bouncy assault course for the day, and filled tables with candy, and just let people go nuts). It was…tricky. I think at that time, the person I most disliked in the room, was me, so everything else was a lesser evil.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I wish I coulda come to your 26th birthday party, it sounds like it was a blast!! Of course I don’t like that the person you disliked the most was yourself :/ Especially as you are one of my most favorite people EVER!
      Anyway. Someday, perhaps, we can share a strawberry blonde beer together! Wouldn’t that be lovely?! Talk about worlds colliding!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Come to my 33rd! (REALLY in the realms of wishful thinking now, but oh, how wonderful that would be!)

        I would LOVE to share a strawberry blonde beer with you, even though beer isn’t my favourite, because that would be EPICALLY AWESOME, because it would mean we were together in Real, and doing something which has deep significance to you. I would love that 😀

        And *blushes* I really really A LOT like being one of your most favourite people EVER. You’re one of mine, too 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. My husband and I met in our hometown in Connecticut through our circle of friends while still in highschool, and started dating after he had graduated and I was in my junior year of highschool. We got married in our hometown (in my grandparent’s backyard) a year after I graduated highschool, lived with my in-laws for the first year or so of our marriage before moving one town over into our first apartment. And then not even a year into living in that apartment our life there kind of fell apart and we moved across the country to Utah, with no jobs waiting for us, no place to live, and knowing no one in the area. We were lucky enough to be able to quickly get an apartment, but a job took a bit longer. That was over a decade ago and we are just recently finding real stability. My husband has had a good steady job for many years now, but we only just recently moved into an apartment that, while slightly more expensive than I’d like it to be, isn’t going to have us freezing in the winter and boiling in the summer and bankrupting us with utility bills all the while. Throughout the years leading to this point we’ve only been able to go back to visit a few times, and the area no longer really felt like home but I also didn’t really want to admit that Utah has become my home. I feel that I’d like to live somewhere on the actual west coast, preferably Oregon or Washington, but my husband’s job is here and I really hate moving, so I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that Utah is in fact my home now. Who knows what the future holds though.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a beautiful piece of writing Hun.
    It is VERY hard to allow our pasts to coexist with the now, and often times to do so it requires letting go of the blueprints-well planned, often pondered, always hopeful-so that we can really get to the part of our selves, our lives, that we cherish now. I haven’t been home in years, and I miss it. But I know letting that ‘self’ go was the very best thing for me. It allowed me to see all that I have, and that I have more than I ever could have planned for!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It has been a very emotional week for me! I’ve never been very good at letting go, especially letting go of things that I hold so dear to my heart. But there is a place and time for everything and letting go is part of the journey. Being able to step back and see things from a new perspective is SO important and I do realize how much I have in the here and now. Thank you for being part of that ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you! It is hard to let go…and for my obsessive mind it’s harder still! May I suggest a beach in a jar? I did that with some dirt, rocks, from home. I put them in a small jar, OCD me, and look at them from time to time. I then set the jar down, smile, and tell myself it’s okay to walk away. It and those moments will still be there, they just won’t define me in the same way.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Are you a born and bred CA girl too?

    I saw a pic of your visit with Rara, I am so jealous! I’m so happy you had a great time and got to reconnect with people and places you loved. Sometimes it seems we can’t go forward until we really realize where we’ve been. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not a born and bred Cali girl, but I did go to college and spent six amazing years of my life out there!!
      It was wonderful meeting/seeing Ra and all of my old friends 🙂
      Very true about not moving forward until we realize where we’ve been and how that has affected us!
      Do you live in CA now??

      Liked by 1 person

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