For centuries scholars and science-fiction fans have wondered whether time travel could be possible. Is it? Almost certainly not, obviously. But I can sort of pretend if I let my eyes blur and my mind wander.
From the outside looking in it might seem a little weird, a little pointless, a little like a waste of time, but now and again I find myself drawn to Google Street View
I’m not on it to check out strange Easter eggs, I’m not looking at the top ten Street View mysteries, and I’m not taking a virtual tour of famous monuments from around the world from my bedroom.
What I’m doing is just looking at my house. Not where I’m living right now, my childhood home. The four safe, supportive, sturdy walls that surrounded my entire life right up until the age of 24.
The house where I took my first steps (probably), cooked my first meal, where I beat my Dad at a game for the first time, the house where I broke my arm, where I made my Mum cry for the first time, and where I made it up to her.
I don’t really live there anymore, and my parents won’t be for much longer either, they’ve just accepted an offer on it.
I always resisted the idea of my parents selling when I was younger. But I honestly don’t mind as much as I thought I would now. You don’t lose the memories after all.
They’ve wanted to move for years. To get back into England so my Mum can access some English NHS services, and so my Dad doesn’t have to read Welsh road signs anymore. And it’s probably the right time to do it honestly, the right time for them to make new memories in a new place.
When I view my childhood home on Google Street View it transports me back to a simpler time. A time where it felt like my life was stretched out before me, planned out to perfection.
It wasn’t of course, but the delusion was nice at the time, as most delusions are.
On my computer screen the house sits frozen in place, never aging or changing, permanently paused, a perfect moment in time packed full of pictures into the past saved for posterity.
The ivy that my parents planted to make the house look nice is still there. They planted it when they first moved in when I was still a baby to make the front of the house look nicer but it grew way faster than they expected and were ever prepared for, so one Summer my Dad and I had to spend a whole day ripping it off the walls.
There’s a great big tall tree in the front garden still. Not long after this photo was taken we had it chopped down because it nearly fell down in a storm once. I remember thinking chopping it down was incredibly sad and a huge deal at the time, but now I realise that it wasn’t too big a deal at all to be honest.
Through the window I can just about see a keyboard from back when I still played. Not too long after this I upgraded to a real piano when we found one online for free, all we had to do was pay to transport it back home. That was around the time I started to resent having to play and practice the piano instead of seeing friends. I stopped not long after and the piano was moved on to another home for the same deal we got it on.
I can’t see him in the picture but I know that somewhere in that house or out back in the garden is a little West Highland White Terrier. A family pet and member of the family for getting on for 15 years, a dog who watched me grow up and happiness and enjoyment in his eyes from the first day we brought him home up to the day we had to take him to the vet for the final time last year. I still miss him a lot. A hell of a lot more than any tree.
Looking back at this static image of my childhood home and the street I grew up on is like looking into a mirror. Remembering past hopes, past dreams, it’s a mirror for me to reflect on who I am, what I’m doing.
I’ve had a Q3 full of ups and downs.
I dealt with some anxiety for the first time in my life, I’ve been second guessing a few interactions, overthinking a few situation’s, and I’ve been intensely worrying about what other people thought of me.
But life’s nothing if not for the ups and down’s, the ebbs and flow that better you and make you appreciate it all.
I moved into a city I love, around people I enjoy being able to see, I’ve done some cool things, seen some cool people, listened to new music, watched new films, read new books, and I’ve even written new things, and I feel inspired to write, more than I have done in a long time.
Let’s be honest, nobody would ever go on a rollercoaster if it was a straight flat line, that’s just a train and they’re mostly overpriced, shit, and full of dead annoying people.
A few people have reached out in the last few weeks to check how I’m doing, to see if I’m okay, and to exchange nice words. I genuinely appreciate everybody who has so much, my ego especially enjoyed the compliments!
But I do know that a few friends and family have read what I’ve put out there recently and worried about me. I genuinely am doing okay. I might be a bit dramatic from time to time but I’m just working things out as they come and learning, and writing things out is just the best way for me to cope.
Even though I am okay, the support and kindness people have shown me recently has been a huge help; it doesn’t matter if you’re somebody close to me or we hadn’t spoken in years, you all reached out and I want to thank any of you reading this. The act of just reaching out with a small message from time to time can do miracles without you ever even knowing.
A light heart lives long. X