There's a saying out there that you can't go home again...and for a long, long time I believed that. Why I believed that, I have no clue...but I did.
When I graduated high school, I ran as far away as I could. I had no desire to remember, no desire to look back, no desire to ever go back. In my head all I could think of was all the negatives and somehow, somewhere, sometime, all the good memories...the happy memories, were pushed so far away that if you were to have asked me, I would have told you that life back then was hard and ugly and bad.
This past weekend at the gentle (and not so gentle) prodding by some of my best girlfriends, I went back for a mini reunion. Us girls hadn't seen each other in (three) decades and it just felt like it was time. I almost backed out a few times along the way because, well...I was so nervous.
A woman's overactive brain is an interesting organ.
I just arrived home from my weekend away and I cannot for the life of me wipe the smile off my face. These people...these are my people. All those negative things that I dwelled on were actually little speed bumps in my life...normal speed bumps that everyone goes through but when you are 18 they seem like mountains.
Those speed bumps were character building and brought me to this place I am now. While I was choosing to remember them as all negative, they were really surrounded by fun and joy and love. The memories that we share...that bond is so much stronger than I could have ever imagined.
I am so thankful that they made me 'come home'.
One of the best parts was a surprise visit by one of our friends who flew in from Nashville for a 48 hour visit. He was my next door neighbor and we spent countless hours hanging over our back fence planning our lives and sharing our deepest darkest secrets (as deep and dark that your secrets can be at that age) until our parents finally put a gate in to save the fence.
30 years is too long. Too long.
The other best part? The girl time. These girls...these women, are each so remarkable. Their lives are not all easy...real life never is, but you wouldn't know. They are an example to me of what love and compassion look like and I can honestly say that I will never run from home again.
I love how our memories are kind of like a puzzle and each of us have a few pieces. When we get together we put them all together and they become whole and complete.
And funny. Very, very funny.
I came away from this weekend smiling. And happy. And wanting to never lose touch again.
I also remember that driveway (that we spent hours sitting on) as being bigger. Or maybe we were smaller.
One of those is true.
So now I'm home. I'm exhausted thanks to late, late nights and early, early mornings. It was hard to leave but then as I drove away my focus shifted from my past home to my current home. By the end of my drive I couldn't make that car go fast enough because of what I knew to be waiting for me.
My houseful of boys.
I now know that you can go home again...and I am so very, very thankful that I did. That past has shaped so much of my present and is such a gift, so forgive me if I can't stop smiling (and maybe even laughing out loud) for the next little while.
I can't wait to do it all over again. One weekend was just the beginning.