I've been spending too much time inside my head lately. You'd think I'd be too busy for that, but apparently not. Here I am, unusually pensive tonight.
Do you have a place where, just being there, it brings back a flood of memories, regardless of how many times since that particular event you've been there?
There are a few places like that for me. After nearly 3 years, I still have to take a deep calming breath before I swipe my badge and enter the floor of the children's hospital. Weirdly, not the NICU or the PICU, but just the floor. My law clerk joined my boss for rounds this week while she's on service. I've never gone for rounds. I don't have to, so I choose not to. I don't want to be there unless I have to be, to help a particular patient. Too emotional.
So, yeah, ghosts. Remnants of people, of events, long past. I've been on north campus a lot lately for meetings. Memories of a chilly winter evening, walking the path from Singletary to the parking lot at the Coliseum, a cherished memory, the beginning of a friendship. Memories tarnished by a spring evening, when I regrettably chose to end the friendship. Both significant life moments. I don't know how many times I've walked that path over the years. Countless concerts at Singletary, performances at Guignol. Classes, study sessions and business meetings at Fine Arts. I was a student on that campus for a total of 11 years, and I've been an employee for nearly 3 years. But it's this bittersweet memory from 15 1/2 years ago, from high school, that still comes to mind.
Memories haunt. A hard lesson learned, the raison d'être of some relationships, I suppose. I'm better now at recognizing what is poison and what is simply bitter wine. Bitter wines can often be salvaged, you don't have to throw out the batch. I didn't know that then. The regret still aches when I walk that path. I have to remember to breathe through it and keep walking.