Lately, I’ve been very busy getting ready to take a trip back to Illinois. It’s where I grew up. There’s a part of me that’s still a “Midwestern girl,” although I’ve lived in California for many, many years, and love it here. I’m leaving this Saturday, and I’ll be gone for two weeks. I expect to experience a lot of varied emotions while I’m there. I’m a little bit anxious, and a whole lot excited!
I’ve only been back once in the last 34 years, and that was for my father’s funeral. We had made a couple trips back earlier, when our kids were little, but then my parents moved away. I was busy with my life in California. The years seemed to just fly by! Several times, I had considered going back for a high school reunion being planned. Each time, something came up that kept me from doing it. This year is the year, for many reasons!
I’m wondering how many of you have gone back home after a long absence. If so, how was it for you? Did you feel out of step, with the “you” that had left years before? I’m wondering if I will. I know I still have that young girl inside me, but I also have the woman who has grown and matured so much since leaving there at age 19. I know I don’t look at life in the same way as I did then.
It’s going to be a sentimental journey. I’m going to be seeing high school friends and fellow classmates that I haven’t seen, since we graduated. In my mind’s eye, they’ve been frozen in time — still 17 or 18 years old. The reality is bound to be very different. I’m also going to be seeing aunts, uncles, cousins, and a close friend that I’ve had since third grade. I’ll be driving all over the state, and seeing so many changes in the scenery, from what I remember, way back when.
It will be a growing experience, and I’ll be bringing back lots of new memories! That is the land, and those are some of the important people, who molded and shaped me into the adult I became. It’s bound to all be a big tug on my heart strings! Stay tuned.
Until next time,
* Note: This photo is of one of my favorite teachers, Mrs. Silverstein, and me. It was at the end of 3rd grade.