A parable of mites
Dust mites are pretty small little fellas, barely visible (to humans with good vision) as big as the full stop at the end of this sentence.
One day, there were these two blue dust mites.
It was nice territory but fell off steeply either side. Off in the distance was another ridge, just like the one he was one.
One being a bit more adventurous than the other decided that he'd go walking along the ridge to see where it led. He packed his stuff and promised the other mite that he'd be back.
So off he went on his adventure. Exploring the long and seeming endless ridge-world that lay before him.
On his journey the little blue dust mite met many other interesting mites. He had great conversations and learned many things. When he had time he looked up at the sky and saw that the view was always different, so he knew he was going somewhere.
One day he noticed that the view of the sky was becoming quite similar to what he remembered from years ago, and soon enough he realized that that (based on his ability to navigate by the sky) that he was pretty much back where he started.
"Well bugger me" said the blue mite. "I've come full circle", he said, "but where is the other blue mite".
He looked around and couldn't see him at first. Then he looked across to the other ridge and could see the other blue mite hanging around the same patch of ridge he'd always been on.
This confounded the mite, as he knew that he'd never crossed down into the dark and deep valley to attempt to get to the other ridge. He was even more confused when he thought about how much he'd seen and how far he'd come.
Of course you and I both know they were both living on this bolt ...
which has a ridge that goes round and round in a spiral.
So while it was seeming like the blue mite had gone around in circles, his journey wasn't quite a circle. Instead while he had moved far and come back to almost the same place, he most certainly wasn't in quite the same place as he'd started.
This is pretty much how I've found life myself.
I started out in this small town (well, back when it was a small town) and moved along and done things. I've gone away, and come back a few times. Each time I've gone off and explored the world I've come back (intentionally or otherwise) and found that while I've been journeying in life I have changed enough so as to make it impossible that I can see the place I return to in the same way as when I left.
I feel that while I've completed some sort of orbit of the earth that I can never come back to exactly the same place. So I've come to try to grasp this as a spiral: you're nearly back to where you started but subtly shifted to another place.
It feels strange to be sitting in the house that I grew up in. I feel like I am me, but while everything seems the same as where I left it, nothing really is the same to me anymore ... because I'm not quite the same me.