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Are you a stranger in the place you love the most?

 
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Have you ever left your home for years and then came back to visit?
It is like experiencing what will happen after you die.
And you realize you are nothing in this world.
You see your best friends having regular life and new friends, like you never even existed and everything is just so normal. That emptyness in your heart after you left your home is living on its own and not feeling same way about you as you feel about it.
I was so happy when airplane landed and I was in my home city, few days after, I just wanted to get back to the country that never will be my home, but I feel needed there.

Now I don't blame people who never goes back to visit their countries, it's the sadest experience.
And whenever I rememeber my visits after I moved to US, it seems the weather was bad all the time, because the pictures in my memory are so grey.

Is it only me? Do you feel the same?
 
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I moved away from my hometown for about 10 years. When I moved back, much had changed. The church I grew up in was not the same. Although it is unreasonable to expect that it would be, it still made me sad. Like I had lost something. Old relationships did not automatically re-start, some did but were different, some did not and new ones formed. My wife who was not from this area adjusted more quickly than I did. Too much old baggage, I suppose.

It does get better, it just takes time.

Not trying to be negative or depressing but the old days are gone forever. That does not mean that the present and future are joyless, but you will enjoy it less if you refuse to leave the past in the past.

The neighborhood I grew up is a mess, all run down and dilapidated. I do not go there anymore, I prefer my memories to reality. That seems to contradict what I said before about the past. But in this case, I don't have to go there anymore, there is no one left that I know. In the areas that I do frequent I've had to learn to move on.
[ October 07, 2004: Message edited by: Ray Marsh ]
 
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Originally posted by Rita Moore:
You see your best friends having regular life and new friends, like you never even existed and everything is just so normal.



And you were too having normal life and new friends....

I have been living away from my home town from past 10 yrs, and lot has changed there. I have not been there at all for more than 2 yrs.

Do I want to go there, yes. Though I know, nothing is same there. The shop where we used to gather is no more. Most of the friends are out of city or busy in their work.

But still I want to go there. I know now I cant live there for more than 1 day or 2 days or better to say few hours.... but still I want to go.

Looks like I need real shock to reach at your stage.
 
Sania Marsh
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Yes, I was having new life, but it was never full. It seemed my past life is waiting for me just the way I was waiting to get back, but it wasn't...
Probably because I lost it all at once, my friends just lost me - small part of their life, which quickly got filled with something else. I could never replace what they meant to me.
I'm not saying I don't want to go back, I do.. Can't explain why, but I think I will always want to go back, even though everytime I go it hits me harder - seing my friends divorcing, seing them changing their lifepaths (usually towards negative). I still love it, but I can't see myself fit in there.
 
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Growing up is the process of seeing new things in the places you've been before. Everything else is rock and roll.
 
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I liked what Michael said.

I agree. We have to learn accept that things change. Its just us who left the place at some point and locked those images in mind about the place at that point of time and we expect it to be the same when we go back after years. How is this possible? Do people stop living? Growing? Changing? Dying? No. Life goes on with or without us. People end up changing their friends, priorities, perspective etc...its just that we have to learn respect those changes and live with that.

Okay, enough lecturing stuf...back to Java..

Regards,
Maulin
 
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I think Rita is concerned about change for the worse not better.
I guess Rita's perspectives are now different from her friends. You could express your concerns for them to pause and think but preaching would be inadvisable.
 
R K Singh
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Originally posted by Rita Moore:
Probably because I lost it all at once, my friends just lost me - small part of their life, which quickly got filled with something else. I could never replace what they meant to me.



You are contradicting yourself.

You think you played small role in their life, but their life played major role on your life, that is simply not true.

I am telling you this becasue when I talked to my childhood friend I had told him the same thing what you were telling me now.

It was me who left the town. It was me who was in the mid of strangers. It was me who lost him(and all) suddenly.
And he was at the same place, he is still at same place, watching all friends going one by one leaving him alone in the city where we used to be together 8-10 hrs together.

Now he has new friends(or should I say, to be social animal, man need some people around him), he is happy as happy as I am with my new friends.

True, what has gone cant be get back. If I go to town I cant expect again from him to spend 10 hrs with me. Thats illogical. He changed himself to adjust living without me for 10 hrs. It took him lot of time to accept the fact that I am no more in town to spend time with him.
He filled those 10 hrs with some other activities(or God knows how, at least in initial phase).

Frankly speaking I did not miss him that much 'everyday' for 10 hrs when I was out. I was among the new people, new place. My 10 hrs were going in exploring/understanding new things/people/places.
But as per him it was hard for him to adjust initially but as life going on, he is there at same place happy without me.
No he did not play small role in my life neither I played small role in his life because today I have learned to live without him and he has learned to live without me(It was more difficult for him because place/surroundings were same).

And he is living at the same place(with new feelings) where I want to spend 'just' 2 days or few hours because I am not getting the old feelings.
We cant get old feelings for simple reason that its "old".

They might be thinking the same thing what you are thinking right now.
Rita is happy without me at new place with new friens. And she does not need me any more and I played small role in her life. Even Rita does not come here to meet us.
 
Maulin Vasavada
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I'm not sure if I meant to preach. Its just what I have felt with my personal experience. If that is preaching I would not mind accepting it. Its just that I can't see somebody sad but may be I couldn't chose right way.

Regards,
Maulin
[ October 08, 2004: Message edited by: Maulin Vasavada ]
 
Helen Thomas
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I didn't mean you, Maulin. I meant Rita shouldn't preach to her friends if she isn't living there anymore.
 
Sania Marsh
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Originally posted by R K Singh:


No he did not play small role in my life neither I played small role in his life because today I have learned to live without him and he has learned to live without me(It was more difficult for him because place/surroundings were same).



I never learned to live without my past, my past did learn to live without me. Well, maybe it just seems to me like that.
And I didn't mean any of my friends was more important to me than I am to him/her. I meant that I lost my life - my whole life, while they just lost a friend.


And I'm not preaching to my friends, who am I to preach? Probably I am who needs to be preached to.

And I'm not talking about my friends only - the whole place, salespersons who used to talk to me everyday for years didn't recognize me. My neighbours became so cold with me, even my relatives don't treat me like I'm part of their life - my weekly calls are, not me in flesh.
Probably if I didn't know anyone before I wouldn't realize I became a stranger for them, I would have nothing to compare to, but I'm the same for them anymore.

I had lot of my friends leaving me, that feeling is nothing compared to what I experience when I go back.

Seems not many people feel this way.
[ October 08, 2004: Message edited by: Rita Moore ]
 
Maulin Vasavada
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Try to take it lightly Rita.

Imagine that when you would leave the current place you live where you think people knows you now and all, would that be the same if you leave and come back after some years? Would shopkeeper recognize you? I don't think so.

I know how much it hurts you. I have been emotional more than girls (should I be shy saying that being a boy? who cares about that? ) But please try to accept it. Just try to stop thinking about it, discussing the same thing for too long (I dont mean to say that we dont like to respond you). May be after few months you might be able to see what all of us are trying to convey...

Thanks
Maulin
 
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I think that�s stigma that many of us go through and live with�we who leave home/native place to pursue better career� we carry happy memories of past days. n feel nostalgic bout it.

I could never understand who is living a better life? One who is home all his life� surrounded with �own people� or the ones who have seen the world�traveled to places�lived/survived with strangers�made ways through difficult time�all alone� away from home without any help!! Trying to get better with career/money/knowledge/position.

All I understand is being with friends and family is great thing. While I am away, I will always miss them BUT I can�t go back and live back that life.
 
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Rita: I was so happy when airplane landed and I was in my home city, few days after, I just wanted to get back to the country that never will be my home, but I feel needed there.

I had similar experience. Later, several people told me the same: you are waiting to visit what you think about as "home" so impatiently, and then you start counting days when you can go back.

My neighbours became so cold with me, even my relatives don't treat me like I'm part of their life - my weekly calls are, not me in flesh. Probably if I didn't know anyone before I wouldn't realize I became a stranger for them, I would have nothing to compare to, but I'm the same for them anymore.

In my experience it was the opposite: I was not the same. They did wanted me to remain a part of their life, but I couldn't. I still communicate with them of course, but it becomes more and more mechanical and formal. But I had this feeling of enstrangeness too. My parents started a quarrel over whether I came "v gosti" (to visit smbd. place, as a guest) or "home". I even forgot which idea belonged to whom... They needed to make some sense out of my coming, and me alive and sitting there didn't play any significant role in their equations.

Yes, I was having new life, but it was never full.

I understand what you talking about, at least I think I do. I also often have a feeling that my new life is "empty" compared to how I lived before, senseless and devoid of emotions. But if to think about it rationally, it is right the opposite. There was so much routine in my past life and now there are so many discoveries. And it can't be less emotional, because I feel much sharper now. Then why this feeling of "emptiness" and detachment? It feels that in spite of all new content, my life lost something very important, and this loss made such a big part of myself that now I am missing something very important in me as well.

The best explanation I have so far is that this process is called "individualization". We are becoming less a part of our environment, and more "ourselves". These are unexamined assumptions, self-evident truths, automatic emotions, visceral reactions etc, etc, etc... which we shared with our people and which made life warm and convenient. Once you escaped their embracement, it's hardly possible to fall under their charm again, even if this is what you want more than anything else. This book describes an interesting paradox. Imagine that somebody held a gun at your head and said: "Believe in xxx right now, or I shoot!" -- can you?

What I am trying to say... This idea that our past live was "full" is an illusion. Or, maybe, rather it is only the first approximation of fullness.
 
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Map: This idea that our past live was "full" is an illusion. Or, maybe, rather it is only the first approximation of fullness.

Or, may be, it is our definition of what's considered 'full' that keeps changing?
 
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Thanks guys for the discussion & thanks Rita for capturing the feeling in words.
I have often felt the same, and often disassociated myself from where I am in lieu of where I was...
"Glory Days" - Bruce Springsteen never fails to take me back where I grew up even if it is only for a fleeting moment.

I have the feeling always that I should go back, this is definitely not escapist.. as I am not in any bad situation where I am, but I want to relive those past experiences.. However, when I really thought about it I can say that through some quirk of our human nature we "grep" out all the bad feelings and keep only the good ones. This in itself must be a safety feature but if it is a brake in ones life then one should take a rain check.

Last year, I went back - and fine, I met all the people who were still there.. the lil ones had grown up, the snotty nosed kid had become a tall bearded teenager, the cute little girl was all painted up for war- some people were no longer around- the neighbourhood had deteriorated.The old gang was not to be found.. some were there but too busy with their families to do more than a chat and exchange of co-ordinates.
When I came back, did I think about going back..yes- but only to visit.Don't want to go back for good.
I think those who venture out, have experienced more hence won't fit back, but they are lucky.. they have the option to go back.
I would not burn my bridges but would rather cover new territory
 
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What you have said is absolutely correct. But think on the positive side. You are among the lucky set of people who can get this unique feeling.

Originally posted by Rita Moore:

Is it only me? Do you feel the same?

 
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Originally posted by Rita Moore:
Have you ever left your home for years and then came back to visit?
...
You see your best friends having regular life and new friends, like you never even existed and everything is just so normal. That emptyness in your heart after you left your home is living on its own and not feeling same way about you as you feel about it.
I was so happy when airplane landed and I was in my home city, few days after, I just wanted to get back to the country that never will be my home, but I feel needed there.

And whenever I rememeber my visits after I moved to US, it seems the weather was bad all the time, because the pictures in my memory are so grey.



Growing up, whenever I saw a newsclip from Eastern Europe it was always in black-and-white. I was kind of shocked the first time I saw color photos and news clips from the Soviet Union -- somehow I always imagined those people living in a grey world.

I went to my thirty-year high school reunion this summer. I felt like Rip van Winkle (a character in a Washinton Irving story who falls asleep for twenty years). The town was pretty much the same as when I left it, except everyone I knew has suddenly grown old -- which was especially bizarre because these people were the kids in town. They weren't like the people in my grandparents' generation, who had _always_ been old.
 
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Rita, my impression is that your present life lacks some "things" important to you, things you had a plenty in your "past life". May be without even realizing then how important those things were. Yes, people feel like you do, not for very long time though. They tend to resolve this problem eventually, and live on in peace with themselves.

Sticking to your past is not the only way for bringing those things back into your new life. There must be other effective ways. And I'm sure that you'll find enough of them, and will be happy. Good luck
 
Sania Marsh
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Originally posted by Dmitry Melnik:
Rita, my impression is that your present life lacks some "things" important to you, things you had a plenty in your "past life".



Hmmm,
You know what, you probably right,
I came to US without family, alone, and got married. I knew my husband then, for many years, but I always lived with my parents before. I had to live completely new life, full of barriers, where there was noone to help us. We both were kids.
when I went back home, I was probably expectig people to treat me as a child, just the way when I was leaving, but I was grown up married adult now, with my own very different life, with very high education and good job, I wasn't anymore cute little attachment to my parents or a barefeet girl in short skirt who would spend hours on the street with friends. It was probably very hard for everyone to treat me the same.
I had to face that my childhood was over, and I probably didn't want to.

I'm going on winter holidays this time,
hopefully it will be different.
 
Sania Marsh
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Originally posted by Frank Silbermann:


I was kind of shocked the first time I saw color photos and news clips from the Soviet Union -- somehow I always imagined those people living in a grey world.



In fact, my USSR childhood pictures are mostly black and white (color pictures were too expensive that time), but memories are most colorfull.


I went to my thirty-year high school reunion this summer.



I often try to imagine what happend to my classmates, but I don't think I would have the courage to see them again.
 
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I've had this experience a few times...

1) 2 years after leaving uni (where I had the *best* time for 4 years - complete with the full range of sex, drugs and rock'n' roll). I returned to visit a couple of friends and return to campus glory for a good weekend of partying.. Needless to say I knew almost no-one and the place had changed (bars re decorated, new buildings etc etc).. but the thing that really saddened me was it hit me really hard that this was no longer my scene... After what was a fairly short abscence, everyone around me seemed immature and out of place. They didnt belong and I even felt irationaly angry towards them! - this was MY stomping ground!! .. all the long haired grungy people (like me) had disappeared and had been replaced by neatly dressed kiddies with mobile phones.. The scummy smoky/trippy student majority had been replaced by a new breed of tidy, organised party-drug student and more to the point I was niether.. no longer was I a long haired chilled out dude in the corner in a puff of green smoke with the rest of the band... and I certainly wasnt one of the new breed of dance/club culture guys... I was... *OLD* ... mature .. sensible... all those things that I sworn to avoid becoming!! ! Basically it hit me that I could never get it back... the society I had been a part of, the place, the mood... it was all now nothing but memories... quite saddening

2) After Leaving the UK and moving to Australia I returned a few years later for a holiday and met up with a whole bunch of friends. We all still got on fine, but we had become different, each doing different things. Our ability to relate to each other had taken a dive, lack of common experience meant that once again, my people and how I remember them, the sense of togetherness we used to feel were no longer there...

I think the thing to realise is that returning "home" can never be done. "Home" is such a complete set of emotions and memories that it only exists in 1 place in space-time... and either changing geography, or letting time pass is enough to for you not to be there any more...

If you're feeling nostalgic about what you think you've lost, try and be a bit positive and glad that you do have the memories and that you have known good times (and truth be told at the time you probably didnt realise those times were THAT good anyway!)
[ October 12, 2004: Message edited by: Adrian Wallace ]
 
Frank Silbermann
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Originally posted by Adrian Wallace:
I've had this experience a few times...
After Leaving the UK and moving to Australia I returned a few years later for a holiday and met up with a whole bunch of friends. We all still got on fine, but we had become different, each doing different things. Our ability to relate to each other had taken a dive, lack of common experience meant that once again, my people and how I remember them, the sense of togetherness we used to feel were no longer there...



If it's any consolation, I believe that once you reach your mid-70s you'll feel like you have more in common with your old friends (those who are still alive), as well as those people who you once knew but didn't have much in common with earlier. You'll enjoy the shared experience of being aged, with no job, no children at home, and being among the very few people around who have any memories of what things were like way back then!
 
Dmitry Melnik
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Hmmm,
You know what, you probably right,
I came to US without family, alone, and got married. I knew my husband then, for many years, but I always lived with my parents before. I had to live completely new life, full of barriers, where there was noone to help us. We both were kids.


You have written it all in past tense You have changed since then, have you not? You are not kids any longer. You have learnt to handle the situations of your new life probably even better than people you used to expect help from. Chances are that you do not actually need all that help any longer. Do you? May be relying on such help is just another sweet habit we all have for cherishing ourselves? And it's up to you to keep it, or let it go

when I went back home, I was probably expectig people to treat me as a child, just the way when I was leaving,

...and what meaning does it have to you? How would your life be different if people did treat you as a child you used to be?

Many people really have an internal need to be treated this way, even if they are grown up, even old. You might as well, and there is nothing wrong about it.

It was probably very hard for everyone to treat me the same.

...but you don't want the same treatment from everybody, do you?

There are many people around you, including quite a few special ones who probably treat you as you wish to be treated, and as you deserve

I had to face that my childhood was over, and I probably didn't want to.

...and you don't have to, especially if you do not want to

Your childhood has become less important surrounded by complexities of "adult life", but it's still with you. And there is no need to travel thousands miles to get there, even though it might not be there any longer.

I'm going on winter holidays this time, hopefully it will be different.

... in which way? Do you already know how you want it to be?
 
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