You indeed can go home again, and here’s how; forget everything you knew about who you were, and who you’ve become, and then let the two of them collide with a thunderous clank or a gentle harmonious click, or whatever it happens to look like, at your intersection.

I’m back in what I would consider my hometown, and gratefully and somewhat remarkably, there are many old friends still around, and more importantly, they are still willing to hang out with me. Most everything is different than I remember, which is normal for a decade plus absence, I imagine. I’m immediately comforted when I discover something familiar, even if the memory isn’t necessarily a fond one. My first attempt at a DUI was when I was 19 years old and I totaled my folks Pontiac Grand Lemans by crashing it into a telephone pole. My folks had to pay the city for the pole, and ultimately I paid for the damn thing with my money from my hostessing job. That year my ridiculously sarcastic delightfully witty Mother gave me a Christmas card that included a 4×6 color picture of the pole – back in the day before iPhones, guys – my Dad had to drive to the literal scene of the crime and get out of his car and take a photo. Anyway, her point – was that was my Christmas present, because that’s where the money for my presents went. MOM FOR THE WIN.

I can see that for the victory that it was, now – growth, eh? Maybe just age and perspective, perhaps, but my point here is that when I see that thing now, I can’t help but wryly smile, and sometimes physically twitch in relief, I shit you not. I used to purposely drive a mile or two outta my way to avoid that intersection, and the memories it stirred up.

I guess I’m done hiding from a lot of things, these days – maybe not everything, but at least that’s one. My past. My acceptance of myself and my behavior during my drinking days were bitter shots to kick back, trust me. In AA, they mention not regretting the past, nor shutting the door on it, and those are both harder in practice than theory, for me anyway.

I’m still anxious at some point every day – but every day it’s less and some days, I can catch myself before I get too far gone and calm the storm and take a breath and sometimes even talk to myself or self soothe, as in “you got this” and “hey girl hey you one badassbossbitch” in my best Oprah voice. It helps, and that’s all that matters and along those lines can I just insert here that I’ve recently been learning more about crystals and gems and the healing properties and nuances of the stones, themselves. Heck, they’ve been around a lot longer than we have, and they’ve been used for spiritual, emotional and physical healing in almost all cultures. That says something to me, you know, kinda like yoga and cilantro. I don’t know if they work or not but if I feel more grounded and confident with some rocks clacking around in my pockets, so be it.

So, now I’m jangling even more stone/wood/leather bracelets than before – when I was young, I wore them 24-7, and I’m sure they reeked of cigarette smoke, sweat and cheap draft beer. Now they’re mostly a blend of souvenirs from trips, gifts, and random pieces I’ve picked up here and there and I love them all clustered together like the different phases of my life, trying to figure out how to intertwine themselves into one piece of art.

I wore my hair in braids the other day at work because of crappy wet and humid weather conditions, and caught my reflection in the glass panels, facing out on the bright neon colors of lower Broadway. I laughed when I saw how much I looked like a (very blurry) younger version of myself, and had to appreciate the irony of all of it. How far I had to run and the lengths I had to go to, only to turn around and find myself.

At home.

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