It's Because You're Home

Summer 2013 has ended and I must say it was quite more than I had anticipated it would be. This year opened a little strained. It seemed a lot was going wrong and I was pretty sure that unlucky 13 would strike the whole year into a constant crap show. I was pleasantly surprised to see how wrong my assumption had been, particularly about the summer. While there were some rough moments, especially with my uncle's illness and some other crazy things that kept happening, the summer ended up wrapping up beautifully. My uncle is seemingly doing much better, my family seems to be in a good place, and I have had a lot of fun. I say seemingly, as not to jinx anything, but I'd like to think that the good things will continue on.

Last weekend, I went to the Jason Aldean concert to celebrate my sorority big sister's birthday. I had such a great time, as I had been having quite often with those girls much of this summer. In a state of happiness I voiced a truth that had been surfacing throughout July and August... "This is one of the best summers I've had since Jonny died!" Without skipping a beat, my friend Shannon replied, "That's because you're home." Her comment shocked me. I tried to deny it. For some reason, I always deny that this is home. That this place I've returned to, that I've grown up, is in all actuality, my home. I can't explain why, really. I never thought I'd come back, to be truthful. It's not that there were loads of bad times here; in fact, I have such great memories here. It's not that it's filled with crappy people; many of my closest friends were found right here. I don't know what it is, but I always denied being happy here. I thought on her comment for a moment. Finally, I gave in. "You just might be right," was all I'd give her after trying to deny it. She just might have been right.

There really is something about the place you grew up, being around the people you've known for what seems like forever. I know these towns and these streets, I have history here, roots here. I met my love here and our story begin here. It's quite possible (and highly likely) that Ariana was conceived here... It all comes back to here. She juuuuust might be right.

As much as I deny and I try to escape, I've made a home and a life here and maybe that's what's good about this summer. I'm finally settling in. Don't get me wrong, I still love to travel and escape, and this sentiment of home could change at the drop of a hat, but for now this is it. I might live somewhere else and feel fully at home there in months, years, decades down the road but right now I'm here, surrounded by people that love me and that know me - better than I'd care to admit sometimes.

Not only am I settling into a place, though, I'm settling into myself. I'm finding a home within myself. I'm finally enjoying the person that I am. Although I am extremely flawed, I'm kind of starting to like me. And that, my friends, is pretty rad and super liberating.

It seems much of the last few years I've been wanting to be happy again. I was so happy with Jonny that I sought out a relationship in which to find joy and happiness. If only I could be with someone who made me happy, maybe I'd be able to feel some of the happiness I once had before I lost it all.  Much to my therapist's delight, this summer I gave up on that quest and reached within myself. I realized that I did not need to be with another individual for happiness. That my happiness I had when I was with Jonny wasn't only because of him (not that he wasn't amazing) but also who I was when I was with him. I'd lost so much of myself through all this that I've been trying to find it in another person without even glancing at myself. And this summer I totally said "Fuck it."

I got tired of dating and relationships and games and boys and.... all of that. I quit. And I enjoyed myself. And I enjoyed my daughter. And I enjoyed my family. And I enjoyed my friends. I am surrounded by awesome people and I realized there was no need to keep searching for more when I had what I needed for this given moment. It hasn't been the right moment for me to be "out there" (if only I'd taken the advice I have heard myself give more than once to friends...) it was the right moment for me to work on me. Truly work on myself and appreciate myself and my own strengths and qualities without having to find balance with another person.

Here in this state, it appears I've found a bit of myself again. Maybe not my whole self, I mean who really knows exactly who they are and has their entire self together? But a big portion of myself has been reclaimed. With the help of friends, family, and country music, of course!

So cheers! To being home, not only physically but emotionally. May the rest of 2013 bring joy and peace and fun and self discovery. Whether it be "alone" or with another if and when the time is right, may I always appreciate what I have and find happiness within myself, and may you, my friends, do the same.


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