A Self-Archeological Trip to My Childhood Locality

As you can tell from the title of this blog post, it will be a more personal one.

Yesterday I visited my grandparents’ town where I spent a lot of time in my childhood and adolescence. I haven’t been there for about 4 years. I walked around for about 30-40 minutes. A lot has changed – renovations, new buildings, new people. It’s a very small town, so I was able to visit a lot of familiar places. I experienced a shroud of memories and a wide range of emotions. My memories were both pleasant and unpleasant – and I felt them in my mind and in my body. Emotionally, I felt great sadness, grief, nostalgia, child-like worrylessness, relief, loneliness, hurt, fear….

And because now I know how to soak my memories and emotions in, without them overwhelming me and without me blocking them, I just let in the thoughts that came up, and let myself feel whatever emotions followed those thoughts.

Since I didn’t have my journal with me (or its substitute, like iPad), I recorded an audio log on my phone. It was my first journaling experience in an audio format, since I always journal in text. I noticed that it’s possible that by expressing my thoughts and emotions vocally I connect with them better (or at least differently), because I say them out loud and I hear my own voice saying it. I can hear my tone, it’s more spontaneous and less calculated because I can’t edit my speech, etc. It gives me additional information for self-analysis too.

Another interesting thing I noticed was the fact that everything looks smaller in proportion now. When you’re a child, your grandfather’s garage appears to be way farther, it takes you twice or thrice the amount of footsteps to get to your aunt’s house, and the buildings look taller.

Now, being a grown, independent, and psychologically and emotionally conscious human being – compared to a small, dependent, psychologically and emotionally underdeveloped and impaired human being that I was as a child – everything looks and feels familiar, but some things or aspects feel different.

Part of is the aforementioned fact that I’m an adult now, but, I think, it’s also because now I have a point of reference that I didn’t have when I was a child. My life, as it was back then, was everything that I knew. Now I see the result of my past-self and his experiences – it’s me, as I am today. I understand the broad context of things that I was growing up in. I know the person my child-self will become. Now I understand my child-self’s emotions and past experiences. I invite them and allow them to come in, because nobody is forcing me to repress them, dissociate, or helplessly suffer. I consciously accept them; I accept everything that has happened to me – good and bad – because it’s a significant part of me. It helps me understand my life – past and present. Every significant thing that is left unconscious impacts our everyday life and current relationships – with others and with ourselves. And I want to be as conscious and aware as I can be in my life.

On the way home, I talked with my friend about our childhood experiences. It was a very rewarding trip. When I came home, I re-listened to my audio recordings and wrote a journal entry about this whole experience. Today I analyzed my last night's dreams because they often are connected with our recent past and in general reflect our mental life, inner conflicts, and realizations. And afterwards I decided to share this experience with you by writing this blog entry, in hope that this will be useful in your own inner self-archeological journey.

Self-knowledge is a very complex, but remarkably beautiful thing.

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