Returning to the Scene of the Crime: Nostalgia and Lessons Learned

Returning to the Scene of the Crime: Nostalgia and Lessons Learned

I’m a nostalgic person. I mull over things. I return to the places where I was happy as well as the places where I was hurt. There’s something about the spirit of place that moves my soul. This morning, as I was waiting for the rain to clear, I headed over to a local grocery store for a breakfast taco. As I entered the cold air-conditioning of the store where I worked during one of my heavy-low periods, I could feel the feels creeping into my body almost immediately.

Why Do We Return to Old Haunts?

Everything about the place caused my body to want to turn around and walk out. I was sad, lonely, and dealing with the imminent death of my brother the last time I worked in this place. I was in survival mode, having just lost my housing as I exited a toxic relationship. I was in my mid-50’s and living with my mom again. Oh boy.

This morning I am in a good place in my life. I’m going to hesitate from exclaiming that this is the happiest time in my life, but I’m leaning in that direction. So the slap of this palpable sadness and loneliness felt quite dramatic. It was as if my entire soul shrugged in a deep sigh. “Oh no, not here again.”

The good news is, I am not in a sad and lonely place. So I walked up to the restaurant counter and asked for the same breakfast taco I had eaten 20 – 30 times while I worked there. I paid my bill and walked the shelves while I was waiting for my pre-game breakfast. I grabbed a few energy drinks and some bagged salads for the meals this week. And I tried to embrace the nostalgia and salute the hard time I had survived.

If I Can Survive This…

As I was checking out with a young woman I had not worked with, I asked her how her morning was going. It was 9:15 am, she’s part of the opening shift. She was pleasant and optimistic about the needed rain that was still drizzling outside. I could feel my body wanting to ring up my own groceries. As I punched my PIN into the keypad I wondered if they had ever gotten ApplePay working.

I know now, this morning, that even under the most trying of circumstances, I can always work at the grocery store and live with my mom. If I can do that… If I can get back up from that low-point, I can hold some of that confidence, that phoenix-rising spirit. I CAN do it. I don’t want to return to the grocery business. But, I could.

Rewriting Over the Old Tapes

Each time I let myself reenter the sad times, the sad places, and let my soul feel the wear and tear of the hard and long journey, I begin to heal those old times. I don’t have to start working at the grocery store again. I don’t have to take the hourly jobs that have sustained me, marginally, in the past. I am not winning at this new career path yet, but I believe the momentum is on my side. And I know, I have many skills.

Eating my breakfast taco, I gave thanks to my lucky fortune and hard work. I am so grateful that mom is still alive and healthy. I am no longer alone in my journey. And I have been stretching my creative skills and feeling the universe respond. Even as I sat in the cafe of the grocery store from a dark and stormy period of my life, I was able to appreciate how good things are in my present life. I was able to celebrate the salads that I would be sharing.

My life is in motion. I am moving in the right direction. I have hope, momentum, and a loving support network. Let’s see how far we can take this rocket ship. Join me in our private Facebook group for deeper discussions and personal revelations.

Always Love,

John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
Facebook  | Instagram | Pinterest |  @wholeparent

As a certified life coach, I’ve been helping men and women find fulfilling relationships. If you’d like to chat for 30-minutes about your dating/relationship challenges, I always give the first 30-session away for free. LEARN ABOUT COACHING WITH JOHN. There are no obligations to continue. But I get excited every time I talk to someone new. I can offer new perspectives and experiences from my post-divorce dating journey. Most of all, I can offer hope.

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