Going Home to Find the Part of Myself I Left Behind
Is Home Where the Heart Is?
"I was born in a small town, And I can breathe in a small town." Reverberating through my soul and into the truth of my design, the song, "Small Town," by John Cougar Mellencamp has always felt like it was made for me. Raised in the small, Ohio college town of Bowling Green, I was...am a small-town girl. We, my 2 older sisters and I, actually grew up 8 miles south of BG in a wooded recluse area that was outlined by country roads and corn fields.
Yet, doomed to be a townie with little opportunities, I moved myself and my then 3 yr. old son down to Naples, Fl in hopes to create a better life for myself and a radiant future for him. With little to my name, I sold what I did have, made some peanut butter sandwiches, packed a couple of old duffel bags and boarded a less than pleasant smelling Greyhound bus with my guitar and son.
The trip from the northern end of our country to the southwestern most tip took us 2 days. I couldn't have been more proud of my little man, as his curious little mind kept me distracted from my own emotional turmoil. Not to mention that he was better behaved than some of the adults on the bus.
Even though that memory is as fresh as this morning's humid touch, 12 years have gone by. Life has effortlessly flown by. Dreams have been attained or let go, marriage has bonded, the birth of my daughter has adorned my heart, and the many highs and lows of life's unpredictable course have paved the lines of my forehead.
I have never been back. Never taken the trail back to where I had my first kiss, my first love, my first beer; my first everything. But that is all about to change. In 2 weeks I will be going back to that small town. I will be swimming in the unquestionable depth of my memories, and I will be looking inevitably for something.
You see, when that Greyhound pulled away 12 years ago, I did what so many say not to do: I looked back. And I've been hanging on and looking back ever since.
So many have chirped at the relics of my past with, "It's not the same when you go back home." That it will, "not be as you remember it." Perhaps, I will feel undeniable disappointment. Maybe that is why I haven't gone back. For fear, that the glorified streets that knew my childhood secrets have indeed abandoned and forgotten me.
Yet, dream after dream, throughout the years, have allowed my heart and mind to journey back to Ohio. Though, only to envelop me with an overwhelming regret that I could feel even as the dream ended: Each dream awakening me with a painful yearning to return to Florida.
But I am not moving back. Merely traveling back. Traveling back to a time, a journey back to a place within myself that I have hidden. Shut-off for fear that it's existence would be so powerful that I could not thrive in my new home, my new marriage, my new life.
Yet, I need it now. All the prayers, meditations, Wayne Dyer and Chopra books, and Yoga stretches in the world are not going to reveal what the universe has been waiting for me to understand within myself.
Did I leave a part or myself behind 12 years ago? Is home really where my heart is?
Only the journey will tell...