By CATALINA FERNANDEZ
I looked through a window that was covered in rain drops. I listened to an alternative rock radio station as my friend drove me to a place I had not seen for ten years.
We were on our way to my childhood home, passing through the old town I used to live in. Throughout these years, I hadn’t really thought about visiting or ever felt a strong desire to do so. This was just meant to be an interesting way to pass the time, an opportunity to see what had become of it.
With my face pressed closely to the window, I observed the surroundings. I noticed a few familiar faces and recognized the old, colonial brick buildings. The roads still needed to be repaved and the stores repainted. People walked with the same care-free attitude and pleasant countenance they had walked with so many years before. Nothing had changed; everything had remained the same.
Yet, as we drove past the trees with the orange tinted leaves of autumns, I suddenly realized that truly, everything had changed. I did not feel the same about the place I used to live. I could remember the memories I had made during my years here but did not miss them. The town had not changed, only I had changed.
This was my home town, the place I was brought up in, and yet, I felt nothing. People are supposed to have a strong sense of nostalgia thrust upon them when visiting places of the past, but I did not. I started to wonder if I had become cold-hearted, neglecting my roots in life. Had I gotten so stuck in the rut of my daily routine that I lost an emotional attachment to my childhood? Had I really lost who I truly was due to an obsession with who I could be? Suddenly, I craved an emotional connection to what I saw before me.
I sat quietly and pushed all my concentration into trying to resurface my distant memories. I desperately searched for the pieces of this puzzle, anything that could make me feel again. The brief memories I could recall did not fulfill my wishes. I felt an emptiness, one that had been there all along but had only then come to my attention.
The rain fell harder and flooded my mind with frustration and loneliness. I remembered more about my life here; I could picture myself full of happiness and a sense of freedom. I could see who I used to be, a young, bright girl with a warm heart and an ability to live life with feeling and passion. However, I had lost that part of myself, lost her in the worries and preoccupations of everyday life.
Finally, we reached the site of my old home. It had not changed; it remained exactly as it was ten years ago. Before me, inside those walls, was the better part of me, the one I had lost. And yet, I only felt apathy. Everything had changed.