I had to rewrite this introductory paragraph because, in writing this post, I’ve realized that I don’t think I actually get homesick. I miss Dave and Barkles when they’re away, but others, not so much. I can only assume it’s because they’re the only people (+ dog) I communicate with through physical touch. I never feel homesick for places, though I do keep a list of places I’d like to revisit over and over again (I’m looking at you, Mexico City).
Since I went off on my own at age eighteen, the longest I’ve remained under one roof is my current residence (a whopping year and four months). Over those same ten years, my parents have lived in 5 different houses. Prior to that, the longest family home we kept lasted around the 5-year mark. Needless to say, I’ve never had much trouble throwing things away. Being sentimental about objects only leads to heavier boxes to move during that page turn to get to the next chapter.
It’s not that I don’t nest where I stay. I do like to unpack. I actually put up pictures at my current apartment (something I haven’t done since high school), but it appears a house has always just been a house to me.
Life Tip #52: Seek to find what’s truly important in your life, and allow those important things to affect you intimately.
I apologize for my long-winded moment of self-discovery. It came about because I wanted to write a thing or two about Big Bear Lake, a place that holds more memories to me than many of the houses in which I’ve lived. This past Friday, along with some friends, Dave and I packed up and headed to Big Bear for a quick weekend of snow play.
My last visit to the Lake was in 2009. Springtime fishing at Big Bear Lake had been a tradition of my dad’s and mine for fourteen years straight. On this last visit, the economy was in the gutter, and the picturesque lakeside town in the mountains of SoCal was visibly suffering as a result. Storefronts were darkened, and restaurants were closing their doors. It was a sad sight to behold. It was also the trip that would end our tradition, as my dad’s construction business did not escape the downward pull of the economy.
Being back over this past weekend was like walking down a very surreal path of memory lane. Things were exactly the same but radically different. The town was blanketed in snow, something we didn’t encounter in our springtime visits. The lake level was high, but there were no boats gliding along its surface. There were new stores and restaurants mingled amidst the old survivors (I’m still thanking God that my favorite chocolate shop and diner survived). The town was buzzing with activity, more so than I could recall ever seeing it.
I felt nostalgic over the course of the weekend. I won’t bore you with the details, but I will say, it was incredible to have that experience of taking that walk down memory lane after so many years away. I imagine that’s what an adult feels when they walk into their childhood home after some time away. I can’t quite pinpoint the adjectives for it, but I can say it’s special.
It was incredible to make new and completely different memories. The cabin we stayed in was beautiful. Snowboarding was an awesome new experience. Spending quality time around the dining room table over games and dinner with old and new friends was hilarious. Hiking through the snow on the other side of the lake was beautiful, and doing it all with my favorite traveling companion… Well, it’s just always the best kind of good.
Life Tip #53: Stop talking yourself out of new experiences, and start talking yourself into them.