Just came back from my annual trek to my home town of Flint, MI. I’ve been taking my mother up every year for about six years to see her friends and for us to re-visit old favorite restaurants and explore the current scene. I couldn’t wait to get away from there, so it’s been interesting to find that I really enjoy going back. It wasn’t a garden spot to begin with and now that the car industry is by and large gone, it’s far more sad. But it’s familiar and I keep being surprised by how much comfort I find in that.
I don’t really believe in regrets but when I’m in the little town of Flushing, where I went to junior high and high school, I feel twinges of it. The year of the 20 year reunion I went back for a couple of days and realized that the main cause of my misery was me. I could see what a nice little town it is and was. I’ve changed even more since then so now I can also see how much more fun I would have had and how much more I would have appreciated everything if I’d been then the person I am now. I could say that for the first 40 years.
I know it was the pain of the past that made me who I am and it was the pain that led me to the path of self-exploration and spiritual questing so I’m grateful for all that came before. Just every now and then I envision the past the current me would have had and I forget to be grateful and linger a moment in regret.