Letting go and moving forward in life is really opening up the floodgates on so many growth areas for me. Recently I finally faced going down to where I lived during high school to finish emptying out my Mom's storage unit. Moving forward in life has really disconnected me from my past and who I used to be growing up. I was meeting my brother, and since he was running a little behind, I decided to drive around to check out the old trailer park I lived when I was there.
The town itself hasn't changed much. Many of the same stores are still there. While many others were closed or destroyed due to some major snow damage this last year. It's quite an eerie feeling to drive by the old grocery store and it's just a destroyed building now. It is a really small town so within just a couple of minutes I was driving down the road I had walked so many times before on my way to and from school. The nostalgia began to creep in as I anticipated what the little trailer park on the corner would look like. The first thing I noticed, was that I almost missed it because all but one tree had been cut down to the ground. Huge stumps 3, 4 and 5 feet wide, but now only an inch or two off the ground.
It was hard to see as I spent so much time, just walking up and down that entryway, enjoying all of the shade in summer, the light glinting through the leaves and the blanket of colored leaves in the fall. I drove in and immediately saw the first trailer we lived in and subsequently moved out of just a month or so later. Another trailer that my brother and sister had lived in. I continued on, my eyes now focusing ahead to that back corner, searching. I continued to search…and then as I got closer, the realization hit me.
My home was gone. Nothing had replaced it. The slabs were still there, but no trailer. It had become mere parking for the neighbor. The green grass I used to practice all my dance team routines, gone. The big huge tree, just a flattened stump like the rest.
I sat for just a minute, shocked. One of the neighbors was out, and knowing how nosy they can be, I decided I had better be on my way. I turned the corner, and there was another brother's trailer, even still has the addition he built on. Continued to drive, looked at one trailer and wondered if the same family still lived there, drove past the bar and on out.
I didn't know how much that would hit me. How empty it would make me feel. Not that I would ever want to go back, but just the fact that it doesn't even exist anymore shook me. I then drove across town to where I remembered my friend living. Knowing that her parents had died, and even she had passed on a few years back, I wasn't sure it would be there either. I never did find it. I'm not sure if it was because I missed it, or if it just isn't there anymore.
Fast forward to today. I brought home some pictures and family papers to go through and I decided that today was the day. The deepest emotions came when I was going through my dad's wallet. Mind you he died 30 years ago, and mom had been holding on to all of this stuff all this time. This has become quite the motivator to purge all of my random storage boxes, let me tell you! I do not want to make my kids have to do this. As I was emptying out the wallet, going through each piece, to make sure nothing of importance was there, I noticed two pictures of me. Down came the tears.
Dad's alcoholism was not an easy time for any of us and it did not create the best relationship between us. So many people tell such great stories about him, and yet, I don't have those memories. I have memories of what alcohol can do to a person. His death when I was 10 really wasn't a surprise. It hurt, but at the same time was a relief because I knew he was no longer in pain. Seeing those pictures enforced the knowledge that he really did love me. Something I wasn't always convinced of because he didn't get to be his best self. That and seeing his AA 12 step card. Down came the tears. He really did want to beat his addiction. He did want to be better. He did try. It was just stronger than he could bear in the end.
The other thing that I ran into was a grade card from about 1st grade or so where my teacher had written a note to my Mom. It talked about my self-esteem and how they needed to work on helping me improve. They had even put me in a special group of kids to help boost my self-confidence. It really shows a lot in how I remember that time of my life. I know that felt very much alone.
Now I know why I tend not to live in the past. There are small snippets, like the pictures in dad's wallet, that reassure that I was loved, but there are many more that move me in the other direction.
I am very grateful that I never again need to return to that town. It never truly felt like home to me and I always felt like an outsider. The trailer not being there really is quite a good analogy for me and where I am now. As I said in the beginning, I have changed so much, and have disconnected so much from who I was growing up, there are many times I don't even think about that part of my life. The part of me that hurts. The part of me that stings deep down in my heart.
The part of me that hurts. The part of me that stings deep down in my heart.
I am encouraged about the future. It's almost as though some of those pieces of my past that are starting to disintegrate as I rebuild and become a better version of myself.
I know that 10, 5 or even 2 years ago, I couldn't have imagined that I would be at the place I am now. Fully ready to face my future. Ready to become my complete self. Not just the pieces I think everyone is going to be accepting of but completely and 100% authentically me. I've attempted this before, but I don't know that I was truly ready. It was a dipping in of my toe, but never a full-blown jump in. There were still parts of me I had no intention of talking about or parts I planned to keep from certain people.
No more. Love me, hate me,
Love me, hate me, either way…I'm still me.
Fully ready to face my future. Ready to become my complete self. Not just the pieces I think everyone is going to be accepting of but completely and 100% authentically me.
As I move forward I now get to begin to fold in the pieces of me I have been hiding.
The science nerdy side.
The law-of-attraction side.
The brain workings side.
The positive mindset side.
The quantum physics side.
The food/health side.
All of that will come out here in pieces and I'm not sure what the end result will be at this point but I'm just going to start. Share those things I find interesting and talk about them in a way that hopefully helps others understand how it all works together. At the same time, use myself as a guinea pig for some of the things I'm learning and share how that's going.
I'm just so grateful to know that many of the negative things I do remember about growing up are the very motivators for the changes I have made in my parenting style. I just want what I think most parents want… better for my children than what I had myself.
That includes a mom who is there for them, present, doing the best I can and NOT EVER GIVING UP!!