Saturday, October 12, 2013

Why It's Important to "Go Home" Even When You Can't

Crazy batch from Art Night!

 Thomas Wolfe wrote the novel "You Can't Go Home Again" popularizing the notion that once a person changes perspective on an issue or topic, they can never return to their old perspective.  And while I completely agree with Wolfe, I find it necessary to question, on occasion, my reasons for changing my perspective in the first place.  I mean in the heat of emotions, caught in the storm of whatever catalytic event brought on this change, sure it all made sense.  But when things mellow out, especially if they've been mellow for awhile, it's sometimes hard to remember what powerful force brought you to where you are in the first place. Plus, and maybe this is optimistic, I'd like to believe that others change too.  Even a small change could alter the dynamic of a relationship, which means something that didn't work before may suddenly work now.

The end of a 5 year mission with the gaming group.
Thus I revisit where I've been from time to time to see if it's possible to establish a new home in an old place.

Sometimes the answer is a clear NO. The old dynamics rear its ugly head immediately and I am reminded exactly why I left this home to begin with.  Other times the answer is a bit muddy, especially if I sense a renewed "honeymoon" period where everything seems just way too perfect.  I'm cautious of self-sabotage, so I don't let myself deliberately test people, but I also want to know where I really stand for the long haul. Most of the time these turn out to be a NO as well.  These are instances where people want to believe that "time heals all wounds," but they don't.  Only honest reflection and true change heal wounds.  And if that hasn't happen then the storm will wreck havoc on any attempts to build a new home in old territory.
Father's Day 4-Wheeling with mi familia.

As odd as it sounds, the resounding YES (and they are few and far between) are just as obvious as the resounding NO. When people change it is apparent.  They just send off a different vibe.  And if you've both changed then it is almost like meeting a new person. Sure you know all the things you knew about them before like their family background, job history, and wardrobe style.  But their approach to things aren't the same, or they don't see things the same way anymore.  Maybe they talk about it, maybe they don't; but somehow you just KNOW!
The core of my tribe--Dance REV Crew

Those are the situations where you can "go home again" or build a new home (i.e. a new relationship).  I tell the people closest to me that they are "part of my tribe," meaning that we've weathered the storms, taken on the enemy, each other, and ourselves and still present again and again for the good and the bad.  Sometimes it takes coming back to your old stomping grounds to find out just who those people really are.

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