My first memories of a young girl growing up in Brooklyn, New York, I had all these dreams and thoughts of what my life would be like when I became an adult. As I lay in my bed right next to the window, remembering how crystal clear the sky was. The stars were just the brightest things I have ever seen, and the moon was like my own personal night light. I would just gaze up and feel the warm summer breeze coming into my window hitting my face and taking a deep breath and just thinking “oh life is so great”! It was such a profound thought and feeling at such a young age. That memory has stuck with me my whole life. I can still feel that feeling as I’m describing it now, and I could still see the sky in my mind as if it just happened.
Well a few years have gone by, and now we moved out to Long Island. A better life, my mom thought. A big lawn and our own house for me to grow up in. Being an only child my friends became everything to me. I remember always wanting to be with them and to be out doing something. Life once again was so wonderful. To feel free, to just have fun. Times were different, so we didn’t have arranged play dates, and didn’t go to all these types of set-up places to do activities. We made up our own activities. We would hang out at the local arcade, or the sumps in our town, or under the bleachers by our school. Just to be out and to be with friends. We all knew who each other, even if we didn’t actually hang out with that person we knew. It wasn’t a big school, but still, just like now there were clicks of who hung out with who.
As I got older, I was starting to feel stifled and felt there might be something more out there. Starting to lose that little girl feeling I once had of all my hopes and dreams and what my life would be like when I was older, I just wanted more.
Circumstances, maybe a bit of fear too, and definitely a lot of excuses kept me there for longer than I had hoped for. Years went by, and just existing there, and trying to be happy and thinking that little girl feeling of excitement of wondering what my life would be like was just that, a little girls dreams.
This was real life, and there really isn’t anything that exciting about paying bills managing a house, and kids. Don’t get me wrong, I had great days, and some great times with friends, but still felt trapped. Still wanting to get out of this small town, and meet new people and do different things then all of my friends were doing. Why did they seem happy doing the same thing with the same people?
Well I got my wish, I got to travel, lived in different states, even spent time in a different country! That didn’t happen too easy either. Fear once again almost kept me from doing that, but I’m glad that I had a great partner to help me with that and to share all of those fears and excitement with.
At first it was the best feeling ever. I was finally out of that town, and meeting new people, doing different things, eating different foods, seeing how other people lived all over. I didn’t realize what a small town it really was until I saw how other people lived. I was starting to feel that excitement that I did as a little girl again.
Now, living my life somewhere else and enjoying it nicely I might add, I am getting older and realizing it is kind of the same all over. There is that small town thing everywhere. Where people do the same thing with the same people. They just might do different things than my friends and I did, but still the same scenario. With the social media to help us all reconnect, I have found many friends again, and even now talked to people that I never would have spoken to in school. I’m seeing all of my friends actually hanging out with the people that we would purposely avoid. I thought that a bit odd, but funny thing is I have made good friends with people I never gave a chance to, and honestly found that we really had a lot of things in common even back then, but because we never spoke we never knew.
In speaking to one friend in particular, so much was revealed about why we avoided each other. So many misconceptions and pre-judgements of what we thought the other was like. It was nice and refreshing and also quite funny to hear these things that we thought of each other. I also revealed, I probably wasn’t as honest with myself when I was younger. Maybe I just really didn’t know myself yet, and it took me leaving to find out who I really was. My friend made me realize all these things and helped me bring an honesty into my life about me then and maybe even now. I always wanted to escape that place and those people, but you can’t escape where you came from because where you came from really impacts where you go and who you become. So I started to miss it, and I even kind of longed for that place once again.
Recently this friend of mine passed away. It was a kind of a shock because we are not of that age yet, but the passing of a friend that I only got to really know for the first time over the last few years, even though we knew each other practically our whole lives was so surreal. It has made me long for home even more, for being young again, and maybe doing things differently. Why had I wanted to leave home so badly, and can I ever go back? I wanted to leave for a reason and it has been so many years that I don’t think it would be the same if I went back. Maybe I am coming to the age of mortality and realizing that we really are only here for a short time, and there is no going back as much as you may want it. Going back would never be the same as you imagined it was anyway, and you can’t change anything. So you just have to keep your memories just as they were when they happened, and make new memories by living life the best way you can now. Hopefully taking some of the things you learned along the way.
Keep those little girl hopes and dreams in your attitude because it can really change what you do and how you look at life. Even though you can’t go back, I realized you can go home, because you take your home with you everywhere you go.