An old home.

It’s always different, when I go back to my old home. And I don’t just mean the changes to the high street – clothes store turned fancy restaurant here, yet another hipster cafe there, shiny automatic doors installed in the ancient shopping centre – I mean the way it makes me feel every time I return. Yes, sometimes I do swallow a lump in my throat seeing an old favourite shop is no longer there, but more often than not I don't care. I can feel a distinct excitement when I browse in a certain bookshop, but then other times it's just another branch.

I can always count on certain things, though. Walking through the town's monthly vintage market still makes me smile. Peeking into the cinema bar gives me a smack of nostalgia. And I think walking down the path towards the cathedral, looking up at that beautiful building I sat with when I was sad, explored with family and friends, took countless photos of and eventually got to graduate in, will always make me tearful.

This most recent trip, I was warm and buzzing the whole time. I retraced my old route from my once-workplace into town; I read my book for an hour with an afternoon coffee; I walked down my favourite little alleys and past some perfect old properties, and stayed in the street I someday want to retire in. I smiled to myself often, and cried only occasionally. 

Because I was once again reminded how much I’ve missed this place, and found myself feeling that familiar, intense longing to be back. Of course, I only remember the good times here; the drunken walks home in the small hours cackling and clutching bags of chips, kisses over coffee cups and crisp, cool mornings walking through the deserted cathedral grounds. I don’t remember the horrible arguments, the hangovers, or the heartbreak. 

But I think if I could tell my old self that someday I’d look upon the past fondly, and genuinely yearn to go back, I’d be happy. 


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