Just Write {129}

April 1, 2014

I was walking along the main street of the town where I grew up. Everything is different and everything is the same. There are new shops and a place called Middle Fork–a quaint little restaurant owned by someone who used to babysit me. I walked in and called for her and she turned and peered through the window to the kitchen. Heather King! she said, and then she held up her left hand to show me her engagement ring. I’m getting married, she yelled. I know! My mom and dad told me!

My friends and I, we had dessert. A brownie with a hazelnut cookie dough frosting piled high on top.

All day I spent time with people I don’t get to see in Austin, Texas. We talked about everything and more and then I had a vulnerability hangover. Those are much better than a booze hangover, even though they hurt, too.

When I’m here I have a hard time taking in all the memories that flood me. I want to run from them because who has a life that isn’t both parts joy and regret? The regrets want to pile up and so when songs from the 80’s come on, and they pull me back to this or that, I have to turn the channel. I have already taken too much of it in and if songs add more, maybe it will all overflow and I won’t be able to stop crying.

It isn’t easy to explain especially because I don’t really even understand it. I don’t know if other people revisit themselves, from before. I don’t know if they linger, like standing on main street, looking in a shop window at how everything has changed but has stayed the same inside, while it also hasn’t.

It’s not about regretting the life you are in, but maybe it is, in some ways, and that hurts. I don’t want to trade the people, my family. But I would certainly give up this feeling in the pit of my stomach. It has been there for 21 years.

I don’t know a lot of people who are really good at being grownups. I’m certainly not one of them. I can only keep going, keep hoping, one step at a time.


Kirsten April 1, 2014 at 11:09 am

Vulnerability hangover. Yes, EXACTLY. Was just minding my own business, driving home from teaching the other night, and some song came on (of course I can’t remember which), and I was SO IN 1985 that it was that exact pain – the pain of re-living that time viscerally, even whilst knowing how your life after that has turned out.

Jo@All Seven Seas April 1, 2014 at 11:44 am

I was going to agree with you about everything until the last few lines because are you kidding me?? You’re one of the best most amazing grown-ups I know!
But I totally get what you mean. Revisiting the old places has a way of bringing out unsettling melancholy in me too.

Kristin Shaw April 1, 2014 at 12:36 pm

I will be visiting my hometown in June, and I understand these feelings so well. I have had two blasts from the past recently, and I felt these feelings. It’s hard to go back in time and come back to the present, too. xo
Kristin Shaw recently posted..Friday Favorites

Dolly@Soulstops April 1, 2014 at 3:35 pm

Ah, the power of a song…I can relate and how memories are tied to certain ones…This is my first time linking up…Thanks for your words and for hosting :)
Dolly@Soulstops recently posted..What you must know about spring (& growth)

Vikki April 1, 2014 at 5:45 pm

I revisit my past selves all the time, my friend. You aren’t alone.
Vikki recently posted..We Say Goodbye a Piece at a Time

molly April 2, 2014 at 10:16 am

Heather, I live in the town where I grew up my whole life. I promised myself I would NEVER move back to my hometown. But here I am. Living right where some of my worst memories happened. But some of my best too :)
molly recently posted..Our Table is Full

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