As a teenager I dyed my hair blonde. I tanned, I wore Abercrombie and Fitch, and drove around with my friends listening to techno music
I loved having blonde hair. I got a lot of compliments on it and so in my twenties a couple years into being married I tried to replicate the hairstyle I'd had as a teenager. It didn't look quite as good for some reason (go figure) and so I abandoned the thought.
Have you ever done that? Have you ever remembered something with such fondness that you have tried to relive the positive experience you originally had? The problem is that experiences are like food, the first bite is usually the best.
Life moves on. You can go back to old hairstyles, old places - but they're never really the same the second, third, or fourth time around.
This past Fall when we picked up and left Michigan to move across the country it was incredibly difficult. We left everything we've ever known behind. Relationships, familiar places, our house, the familiar, the well worn, the loved. I have looked back so much. I have wanted it back more than I can say. My heart has literally ached with the longing to go out for coffee with my best friend, to go on a play date at the park with my girls from home school co-op, to play Catan with my brothers and sister in law, to have dinner at my parent's house.
Last week I found out she's moving. One of my best friends from home is packing up her family in the next 6 weeks and moving to another state too. My heart stopped a little.
There was this feeling of deep sadness over the fact that when I go back to my hometown I won't be able to visit with my friend. There was also this immense happiness I had because this move is so great for her family. There was also relief. Relief that I was not going to have to watch her leave - because that would be so painful.
The problem with looking back is where your focus is. It's hard to see where you're going if you're always fixated on what's behind you.
It doesn't mean you have to let go of friendships, family, or the love of the familiar. It just means you need to shift your sights to where you're headed and not where you've been.
I think I'm finally ready to start looking forward so that I can actually get to where God wants me to be.