I can imagine that life is like a library.
When you begin, it starts with the shortest picture book on an empty shelf, or perhaps abandoned on a table with the lamp still lit, the ghost of its reader asleep on a great green velvet easy chair.
But as you move on, gain experiences and live your life, the volumes start to fill the shelves. Rich, leather bound with gold lettering, documenting your triumphs and defeats, great loves and shattering heartbreaks, all lined up, rows upon rows. Until when you've reached the end, you can carefully and shakily, ease yourself into the softness of that green chair, heave a tired sigh, and gaze around at the handsome display of tomes around you thinking to yourself: "What a life."
And in the midst of building your library, do you come to visit it on occasion? To leaf through a particular part of your life that you thought fondly of to relive the experience? Or perhaps to a particularly shameful part that you regret, poring over it to try and discover where you went wrong and if there's anything you could do now to change it?
If you weren't careful, you could find yourself spending years there, just reading back through it all. And as you did, the new books would be filled with nothing but repeats of what you've read. Or worse. A stagnant .......................................................................................................................
At what point do you close a volume for good? Shelving it and leaving it in peace while you go forth to the next adventure, ready to fill those shelves with fresh and new experiences?
Being a bit of a nostalgic, I find myself frequently visiting my own library. I never stay long, but enough to flip through a particular book and smile on the great times, or worry slightly about the bad. Usually it's revisiting a place or repeating an event with the same people that ignites it. And then I'm back there at that one time, thinking how far I've come, or how people have changed. Sometimes at one or the other event, I'll sit myself down next to an old friend, turn to them with a wistful smile and say "Can you believe how much time has gone by?"
Sometimes, if you've left a legacy somewhere, it's easy to get stuck there and revel in it. Relive the glory days. Soak up the admiration of those who have heard of your tale.
But these places are small, and it does no good to stay there. At some point, you have to move on from it, or those moments are all for naught.
The original point of this entry, I fear, has been lost a bit. And I think I prefer to leave it this way. Perhaps I'll write a follow up, but for now, just like the volumes of a particular part of my life, I will leave it and go on to the next adventure. Which today, is promising to be a great one.