*How can one person change so much in a single month. I've been walking under the same sun, but passing beneath different streetlights. I haven't been traveling long. I've been gone from my hometown for about three months. I miss the snow covered trees. The cool familiar sensation of the Lake Erie breeze. I miss the tulips in spring that seem to pop up wherever they please. I miss the big blue house with white window frames sitting on the corner of Temple Street. The big garden out front surrounded by an electric fence to ward off deer. That place was my refuge. My sacred ground. I was born into a family twisted from life. I was lost during my childhood, and for most of my teen years. I was a hopeless kid. I kept it together on the surface, but never could hide the sadness in my eyes. I moved into that house a month after I turned eighteen. I was at that crucial age. Teetering on adulthood, fresh out of the high school scene. I moved in with my boyfriend. The man who would become a rock for most of my life. He was the first person to teach me unconditional love. Two words I have been vaguely familiar with from childhood. It was a long process to learn how to give, and receive unconditional love. It's been three years since I've met him. I'm only grasping the concept now. I lived in that house for three years. That house is my home. My real home. When I moved in, I hardly knew my housemates. We were acquaintances. Not exactly friends, but I was accepted because of my boyfriend. I was such a shy girl back then. I hardly said much. Kept myself busy by cleaning, and reading. Smoking lots of weed. Little did I know, three years later they would become some of the most crucial people in my life. My boyfriend taught me unconditional love, but the people in that house taught it to me too. For myself, and for others. I learned more from them then they will ever know. I was brought into their world, one so different from where I came. For a bit, I felt like I was in wonderland. Like I fell down a rabbit hole chasing the cheshire cat. Wandering through scenes of nonsense, caught in the folds of time. Looking back, I can't tell if that's how I actually saw it, or if that was just the acid. Either way, I learned to love it. I was Alice, exploring my new wonderland. I expanded my consciousness in that house. I soaked up what was going on around me like a sponge. I'm an observer. I always have been. I can sit back in a room full of people, not saying a single word, just watching. I notice the things most people do without thinking. The little things. Biting nails, shaking legs, even twisting their earrings exactly three times. Detail is my specialty. I notice everything, from the words people choose right down to what they do when they say them. I'm an observer, not a judger. I keep most of my observations to myself. Unless, I feel someone could benefit from something being noticed. I grew up more in those three years than I had during my entire adolescence. I grew so much that I felt like I was exploding out the windows cracking the white frames, blowing off the roof. I had three of the best years of my life in that house. I had no idea what I was prepping myself for when I moved in. I never would've had the guts to travel cross country if it wasn't for that house. For those people. I owe everything to those three years of my life there. It's been three months since I moved out. Just three short months. I've seen everything from the Appalachian Trial to the Rocky Mountains to the Mojave Desert. In each place I've been, I've found a piece of my lost soul. If life was fair, I would get to keep those pieces. Finders keepers. Unfortunately, that just isn't the way it works. For every piece that's found, one's left behind. This is simply the way. It was decided long ago. By those who understood the circle of life. There must be balance. For what we take, we must give, in order to receive. This is what I learned in that big blue house on temple street. This is the lesson I hold dear to me now as I prepar to come back to my hometown. I haven't been gone long, but I'm not the same as when I left. I'm stronger. Wiser. I'm ready to face the tragedy that awaits me when I pull off exit fifty three. I'll be walking into a storm, but I'm not afraid of the rain. I can take it. I'll feel so much relief when I pull into that rocky driveway, park my car, and walk up the path half swallowed by grass. Up those steps, then right through the door held together with duct tape. I'll walk into the kitchen right into my family's arms, and finally find some peace. I'll be right where I need to be. Right at home with the people that love me. Supporting me, as I face an unbearable tragedy.
~ not my usual style of writing, but I had to get this out ~