Yesterday, before and between my two presentations I ventured around parts of town that meant a lot to me. I was early to my police presentation in Jefferson County so I drove a few miles south to the kart track that I flagged at from 2002-2008 (I flagged at the club 1995-2008) and was race director 2006-2008.
It had been two years since I drove by this track and it was a weird feeling as if I were going back in time. For several years flagging there was my only job and I could remember the pride and self worth I felt going to the track. Then I became the race director (think head official with absolute power) and as I think back on those days it was so important to me becoming who I am today.
After my police presentation, which went amazing as the officers asked amazing questions and kept me five minutes past the scheduled start of the next speaker, I drove to the mall that I worked at when I was working at the video game store. It was weird as 11 years later the smell is exactly the same so continuing my trip down memory lane was rather easy.
The store I worked at has been reconfigured but I made it a point to stand where the counter used to be and to just soak in the atmosphere. I'd have given anything to go back and re-experience, just for a few minutes, the moments of sale and interactions with the customers I had. As I was thinking about that a song played over the PA system in the mall that played back in 2001; talk about an event that makes a person question the passage of time. And not only was it a song that played in 2001, it was the store manager's favorite song.
With another hour to kill I made my where to the industrial complex that the kart shop I worked at was. I hadn't been to this building since 2007 and I was expecting the space that we were in to be vacant, but new tenants had moved in. In fact, I didn't recognize any of the businesses in there which sort of made me sad as trying to remember that time era became difficult.
From there I started making my way towards my next presentation and the road that the industrial complex was on led me to a house that a friend I used to know lived on. This wasn't just any friend but the friend who placed the soda can on my dresser that I mention in the chapter, "Small Things" in my book and mention in my presentation.
I drove by the house and saw a person that very well could have been him walk past the front door. For a fleeting moment I thought that I should say hello, but I thought better of it as it has been since 1999 that I saw him (although his mom, who works for a delivery company, delivered a package to my house about two years ago) so I figured it was best to let the past be the past... that, and I'm shy.
The roads to get to where I was going led me past the doctor's office that motivated the post, Dear Dr. X then the mall I mentioned in this December 2010 post. After those two places I went right past Emily's neighborhood.
So all in all yesterday was truly a trip through the past. At each place I went I thought back to how everything worked to get me to where I am today, but at the same time I missed those moments in the past. Time moves on though and I used to hate that fact, but I love where I am today which makes memories of the past more bearable. It was a great experience though because to know where one is, and to realize the growth that one has experienced, they must remember where they came from.