Mari Katherine Raftopoulos: It’s not goodbye, but I’ll see you later |

Mari Katherine Raftopoulos: It’s not goodbye, but I’ll see you later

Mari Katherine Raftopoulos

Sometimes it takes leaving a place behind to realize what place it holds in your heart. Sometimes it’s not a place, but it’s a person, an item or an occasion.

But, with time passing so fast these days, whether it is because of our fast-paced lifestyle, pressure or having only 24 hours in a day, we often take the familiarity of that place or person for granted.

With that, some settle into the routine within the atmosphere that surrounds them and never stop to notice the excitement to be explored elsewhere or right in their own backyard.

Some never leave this familiarity and others are always leaving. To have the benefits of leaving, it must be kept in moderation and be accompanied by a return.

For me, leaving is an opportunity to return because leaving isn’t about saying goodbye – it’s about saying I’ll see you later. And often times the return is much greater than the arrival.

With the return comes an appreciation and a more open mind to influence the familiar and let it influence you rather than settling back into the routine. Too many times leaving is seen in a negative light when, in turn, leaving is an opportunity for enrichment to the person and its environment.

For me, it took leaving Craig and my ranch to realize its genuine character and natural beauty, something that natives often take advantage of. It also took me leaving San Diego for the summer to realize it wasn’t the glamour of the city that has me smitten with it but the community that I have become a part of within the city that made me nostalgic upon my return this past weekend.

Now, on my return to San Diego, I have found that the comfort I feel when the ocean breeze hits my face and the crisp, fresh air refreshes my skin, is much more powerful since I left.

It took me living, leaving and returning upon various occasions to San Diego and Craig to realize that I don’t have to be one thing.

I don’t have to be just a country girl or just a city girl. But instead, I need something in between.

I have found that a part of leaving is discovering what you want, which eventually leads you to what you need.

But, if you never leave, you might never have it.

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