The Irreverent Professor

Unvarnished realities about life, teaching, learning, and change in this wild, wild world

Visiting My Past

They say you can never go back.  But you totally can.  I just returned from a trip to my Past.  Well, okay, it was really just a trip to Washington, DC.  But since I lived there off and on for 20 years, it feels like the Past.  And the Present.  And some little bits of it are like the Future.

Stepping off the plane at National Airport (it wasn’t named after Ronald Reagan when I first lived there–he was just in his second term at the time–so it’s always going to just be National or DCA to me), I felt that immediate stressful hunch return to my shoulders.  My face dropped its smile and my feet moved purposefully.  It’s the city.  I immediately and subconsciously adopted the City Attitude.

My travel companion, P. Monkey, loves sleeping in hotels.

My travel companion, P. Monkey, loves sleeping in hotels.

When I’m in D.C., I truly struggle to maintain my identity as Present Tyra.  I shift in and out of dimension like someone caught in a time-space continuum anomaly in Star Trek.  I get on the Metro train and have to consciously force myself to stay seated as the train passes the Pentagon Metro stop (from which I commuted for several years) and the Foggy Bottom stop (yes, it’s a real neighborhood name–go ahead and smirk, I still do) where I worked for several years.

The memories flood back–college (not so good), working at the Key Bridge Marriott (awesome), various restaurants and points of interest that are tied to good (and bad) memories.  And yet I’m there on business.  I’m Present Tyra.  Phase shift.

There are some wonderful things about the city.  I love “city walking.”  Block after block of concrete, interesting characters (who I pretend not to notice as I adopt the disinterested blank face of a city dweller), the fabulous and diverse restaurants (disregard that I ate in the hotel two out of three nights of my trip).  I love the way the city landscapes its tiny green places.  And the street musicians who play and to whom I always give money because in my mind, they are providing a service to the community.  I do not, however, miss the traffic, the noise, and the sadness I feel when I see all the homeless and panhandlers.  And I don’t enjoy the pace–the frenetic hurry-hurry self-important attitude of everyone except the tourists.

Colorful green spaces in the midst of concrete.  Beautiful in their contrast.

Colorful green spaces in the midst of concrete. Beautiful in their contrast.

Being in the Past reminds me of how far I’ve come in my life.  From an insecure small town girl heading off to the Big City for college to…well, to the small town woman who recently returned home after 20+ years to the only place I’ve ever loved.  It’s nice to visit the Past, in part because it makes me appreciate my Present.  It also makes me appreciate the Past and all its players who played a part in getting me to where I am, Home at last.

Carpe the Present.

Advertisements

Single Post Navigation

2 thoughts on “Visiting My Past

  1. joaneisenstodt on said:

    Oh Tyra, how beautiful. And how interestingly you see the place I’ve chosen to live since July 1, 1978. I smile at people on the street and tell someone whose outfit I like that I do. Like you, I hate the traffic and noise and wish I had an oasis like your Present Tyra home to go to. The restaurants? The hotel was wonderful and its food not hotel-like! And those of us here? Well, we may not take advantage of all that DC has to offer either. I believe we bring ourselves – present or past – to where we are. My “Midwestern Girl” has never left me and won’t. My values remain. Present Tyra was with me at dinner as was Past Tyra. The conversations had a familiar ring with a new perspective. I am glad you found some of what you like in the big city .. albeit one that is really a small town tho’ bigger than when you and I first moved here. Keep Present and Past inside you .. they serve you and us well.

    Like

  2. desertedrose on said:

    An insecure small town girl? Nah. Not you.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: