In sixth grade, I wanted nothing more than to dance with a guy named Kevin to “Careless Whisper.”
I made it happen too.
Eleven years old and small for my age, I didn’t show many signs of impending young womanhood yet.
Facebook is where I found my childhood best friend. Her last name is Jones so google had only produced “success” in the form of her father’s obituary.
But then a year or two later, suddenly there she was showing up on the walls of other elementary school friends.
After a moment’s hesitation when I wondered “why hasn’t she friended me?” I clicked “Add Friend” and cried when I got the notification minutes later that she had accepted. We met up in person soon afterward. It has been wonderful to reconnect and to realize that we would choose to be friends as adults too.
I asked my mother if she could dig up any of my childhood journals. Recently she delivered.
My eighth grade journal was apparently started as a part of a school assignment. I can tell because each entry includes a vocabulary word which I would helpfully underline. As a result, though, the entries in this journal are 1. brief and 2. not juicy. Fortunately there are more journals coming.
You’ll be glad to know that one of my key personality traits emerged early: I have been a lady of leisure since the beginning.
In my defense, by eighth grade, I was in dance classes and rehearsals at least ten hours per week. On top of that, I was relatively serious about school and involved in activities like cheerleading and piano lessons.
Give a girl the weekend to nestle in bed, OK?
Sadly, my handwriting has only deteriorated. Hooray for email!
You guys really liked my friend Candace’s recent guest post. Fortunately, she has volunteered another, this time about what it means to go home.
The more you like and comment on this post, the more likely Candace will post more. Hint, hint.
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My parents moved from my hometown of Alpharetta, GA when I graduated from high school. That meant that when I went to visit them, I wasn’t going home–I was going to a new place that didn’t have my friends and old stomping grounds. And while I did occasionally get back, it wasn’t as frequent as most of my old friends, many of who actually still live there.
I went back to Alpharetta one recent weekend for a dear friend’s baby shower. It was wonderful to see old friends, old crushes and old haunts. I loved being introduced to new babies, new spouses and new homes. I got legally drunk in bars with people I used to illegally drink with in parks, by the river and in certain parent’s basements. We even had an unfortunate run-in with the cops. It felt just like old times. Except it wasn’t.
I couldn’t figure out where the nagging sadness I felt on my way to the airport was stemming from (and no, it wasn’t due to my raging hangover). As I sped down I-85 with tears in my eyes, I realized this: traveling to Atlanta is no longer coming home. It’s visiting old friends and reminiscing about good times – but it is no longer my home.
I have created a new home and a new life in Washington DC. It involves an overpriced apartment, a bearded gentleman who is my sun, my moon and my stars, great friends and a happy hour or two. I love my home. My home is not perfect, but it is perfect for me.
There’s nothing wrong with a walk down memory lane. But letting go of the past can be so freeing. My present and my future is filled with so much happiness that I can’t help but to want to sprint towards it with my arms wide open.
Gotta go. My flight home is boarding.
Whenever I go home to the Scranton area, going for pizza is high on my To Do list.
Not just any pizza will do. And I definitely don’t call for Domino’s or Pizza Hut. Sacrilege.
It was so satisfying. Great, familiar pizza shared with a friend I have known since we were five years old.
Have you ever tried this style of pizza?
Consider the opening:
MY three vegetarian, activist, urban, multi-degreed, agnostic, adult children have rejected Christmas as a consumerist sham of a holiday, one in which they will not be participating. Oh, they’ll take the day off and drink organic wine, but they won’t be buying presents, putting up a tree, baking cookies, lighting candles or decking any halls. There will be no taking of a family picture for their card and no sending of that card or any other.
My parents didn’t have a Christmas tree this year. When I visited for Thanksgiving, my mother gingerly broached the subject.
“How would you feel…if we didn’t have a tree?”