In returning to the town where I spent nearly all of my young life, I realized I did not need much to make me happy; people who loved me and helped me grow good roots were the essentials I required in a small town where everyone knew one another's name. The small dock where I wrote in my diaries or completed high school essays might have been replaced by a larger platform for countless boaters but it was "home" to me for nearly 2 decades.
Visiting where I got my degrees revealed many things. As I took a picture of the long hallway in a building where I stood before a list of Bio majors and realized I had no passion for Pre-Med, I also realized I could replace one dream with another and had more resilience than I might have imagined. Walking through another building where I spent countless clinical hours and handed in more research papers than I dreamed possible, confirmed my love for communication and my commitment to wanting people to share their emotions, opinions, dreams and stories in any way possible.
High above a city where my soul mate once asked me to spend the rest of my life with him, I knew I could make life changing decisions with little more than my heart and soul to guide me. I also knew I had made one of the best ones of my life when I said, "yes!" It wasn't Paris but it still held me in awe looking at a full moon and hundreds of lights twinkling on the water.
Taking a drive past two homes where we raised our children revealed my ability to stay determined and yet flexible when obstacles came my way. There were the handprints from all of us in the driveway; proof that regardless of where one ends up, families are forever. In those homes, I wrote in journals for each child as they grew and developed into their own persons hoping to preserve every memory of their childhood.
Stopping by the building which housed my first office demonstrated my persistence for following my dreams to "start something," as well as my ability to face competition,change when things needed changing and never stop learning something new. It was here I churned out countless evaluations and recommendations for others who needed intervention or a change in direction.
More than a walk down memory lane, beginning where you began offers insight and perspective about where you are or should be headed. Whether you have had a wonderful or horrible past, your direction and dreams were impacted by what you learned and how you handled the situation. It's still a learning process for me, but from baby books and thesis's to blog posts and published books, I wrote things down for others to remember and still do. Bits and pieces of people and places all added or subtracted from my life infusing it in ways I might seldom have realized.
People often ask me when I learned I wanted to be a writer, but like many passions, putting feelings and observations into words and capturing experiences in so many sentences for posterity seemed to find me rather than the other way around.
Sometimes our passions are not so much what we do but what we become as a result of where we have been.
Maybe the same is true for you, but regardless, whether you take a real or virtual trip down memory lane, I encourage you to discover the fuel your passion needs from the people, places and experiences that made you who you are.
What would a trip back to your roots tell you about who you are now?