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chasing memories

You've heard the saying You Can't Go Home Again, which, if you didn't know, is a book by Thomas Wolfe. I haven't read the book, but I understand the sentiment of the statement.

In my situation, I literally have no home to go back to even if I desired it. There is no house I can visit that's been in the family for generations. The area I grew up in is significantly different than when I was a child. The people I know or knew have all changed. There is no home to go back to.

I've chased my fair share of memories since turning 30. Some have involved things and others with people.

With things, I have successfully chased and found all the stuff I ever wanted from my childhood thanks to the internet. All the movies - even the ones I only had vague memories of like this one - I found. All the music, I found. All the information I wanted to acquire - found. Everything was found. The internet is awesome like that.

With people, I've had a few hits and misses concerning the chase. Concerning hits, these people are either on my Facebook friend list and/or read my blog and/or drop me a line occasionally. Concerning misses, those are folks I used to know, attempted a reconnect with a "hello how are you, haven't seen you in forever, what's up" type of communication, and they either ignore it completely or reply with trite little small-talk just to be (barely) polite, then drop out of sight quickly. That's just the way some people are. It happens to the best of us.

I have had thoughts about moving back to New England, but the more I thought about it, the more I came to the realization I only wanted to chase memories, and that's the absolute wrong reason to go back. It's like I said, I've no home to go to up there, the area has changed, the people have changed and there's almost nothing of my childhood waiting for me save for some scenery and maybe a few buildings. I mean, yeah, there's some people I know there who would readily welcome me back, but I guarantee the first question they'd ask is, "What the hell are you doing back here?" And they'd be correct in asking me exactly like that because it would be a weird maneuver on my part.

Something that kinda snuck up on me when I thought about it is that is that I'm a Tampa local now. I don't know when that happened exactly, but it did. People recognize me around here routinely. They know my car. They remember my name before I remember theirs, but then again I've always been bad with names. I can also drive around here almost 100% without GPS now - and that's saying something because this area is nowhere near as easy to navigate was where I used to live in CT was. In other words, I know this place and feel good knowing it.

Chasing memories is cool and all that because sometimes you rediscover some great things and great people, but there has to be a point where you leave the past behind and go forward. For me, my memory chasing stops at the Florida state line because I truly don't want to live anywhere else. Tampa Bay is my home, so whenever I want to go home, I don't have to go far because it's right here.

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