Deja vu strikes whenever I return to my hometown in South Dakota. My parents still live in the same home where I grew up. When I am back there, I sleep in the same bedroom where I once scribbled in diaries about my dreams and my mini-dramas. I look out the same window that I once crawled out of to hang out on the roof and stare toward the horizon, my imagination jumping with ideas of how my life would be one day.
And it all rattles me mercilessly. It's as if ghosts from girlhood dreams reside in that room and taunt me with my childhood idealism.
Even though so much is the same, I am a different person. Despite all of my dreaming as a kid, I never imagined this reality. I couldn't. My mind was filled with stories from Teen Magazine, romance novels, movies and teenage fantasy. When I see my friends from high school who have built their adult lives in our hometown, I have an overwhelming urge to be 10 again, to recapture those pure friendships and never let go.
But I have no choice but to let go. My visit is only that: a visit. I laugh with old friends, toss back a few drinks, catch up on lost time, and enjoy the bond of friendship that spans decades. But the knowledge that I am now just a visitor never leaves me completely, which makes me sad. And they know it, too. I am just passing through.
The strangeness of walking through the past that is actually present never gets easier. I no longer fit in that house or that town or with those girlhood fantasies. Life experience has molded us all, adapted us to our environments and circumstances. I guess that's what growing up means. When I was a kid, I thought growing up meant I could drive a car, stay up as late as I wanted, and never ask permission. I suppose that's true, too.
As I curl up in my childhood bedroom with memories whispering all around me and my kids sleeping on the floor, I know we're all okay as is. This room, this town, this house served their purpose to shape me into the woman I am today. This place where I scribbled in notebooks about the life I wanted served as my launching pad. Good, bad, mediocre, insane...all of my experiences began in this room where I had the luxury of dreaming and scribbling and sitting on the roof staring a the horizon.
So I let the ghosts of those lost dreams get a kick out of badgering me because I know I am just a visitor in this place. And I wonder...maybe I knew even then that I was only visiting, stopping by for a few years on my way to another place beyond the horizon. Maybe some of us are born to always be passing through from one place to another, to spend our lives searching for that elusive sense of belonging.
About Moxie Girl Musings
Moxie Girl Musings is about starting over from square one after tragedy impacted my young family. It's filled with stories of triumph, struggle, snafus, hopes, and dreams. Sometimes there will be features from other writers that I like and every so often I'll include an original short story, but normally I simply write what's on my mind at the time. Welcome to my unfiltered true-life story as I figure out this thing called life. http://www.amberleaeaston.com