As is common for most children I grew up excited about the day I could leave town. Partly, because I wanted to travel and experience the world but mainly because I wanted to escape from all I thought might hold me back.
I grew up, as children do and I found myself very far from home. Not only had I left my small, quaint little town but I had traveled a lot of the world. By 30 I had traveled to seven different countries and spent time living in another country. For a long time, I even prided myself on never returning to my small town. People would ask me where I came from and I would still feel a little bit of shame as if I should have come from someplace grander.
But every life has its fallouts, breaking points and moments of clarity. Unexpectedly, I had found my place of struggle, confusion and loss. I had reached the end of my rope and sat alone in the darkness for a long time unable to continue. Edna St. Vincent Millay once said: “Childhood is not from birth to a certain age. At a certain age the child is grown, and puts away childish things. Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies.”
It became apparent to me that it wasn’t anything I left back in my small town that might hold me back but the beliefs I carried within myself. The experiences and interactions that I had let taint me and poison my soul. No one's life is perfect, everyone makes mistakes, it’s nearly impossible to live up to the expectations you had of yourself as a child. These are things that everyone knows but it doesn’t make it easier to accept.
I found myself alone at a breaking point, feeling that realization harder than I had expected. I found myself longing once again for childish things and to enter that kingdom where no one ever dies. I did the only thing I knew how to do: I headed back home to try to experience, capture and remember the feelings and thoughts of childhood. Momentarily it felt like if I could just go back there, drive the familiar streets, see the familiar sites it’d be like my childhood self was with me again and I could talk to her, converse with her untainted mind about how to proceed. Where do I go from here? I found myself repeatedly asking desperately hoping she would answer me.
There’s a nostalgic comfortability in going home and revisiting the land of the past. There’s a truth about the past that is often easily forgotten and left behind. As I walked the once familiar streets of my childhood and relieved experiences over again in my mind I could feel her reaching out to me in my mind's eye. That wild, dreamy girl with nothing that held her back - not even reality. She whispered to me beautiful moments and dreams of the past. She reminded me not only what I love but why I loved it to begin with. We talked about past lovers, favorite places and ideas of life that had long since faded. She reminded me how unimportant it was to explain my loves, desires or even just myself to other people. This wasn’t their life or their journey to walk.
At the edge of the Ventura Pier, I finally felt a moment of peace and silence - ideas that had escaped me for such a long time. I stared out into the water, not thinking anything in particular and felt my dreams, desires for life and hope flood back to me. I had found all I was looking for right where I left it in my small little town.
About the Creator
Hello. Welcome to my page. I have been writing for over ten years & have been published in several different formats including magazine articles, poems & full length novels. I have a BA in English Literature & a Masters in Psychology.