I am back in my hometown for a minute to figure out the next step and to process what the heck just went down the last six weeks. I went for a run yesterday in my parents' neighborhood, which used to be mine. I ran past this line of cars where construction of a new house was taking place. A door to one of the car's was open and as I ran by I caught a whiff of nostalgia. It smelled exactly like my high school boyfriend's car - a mixture of stale cigarettes, pine scented car freshener, and past lives of a very used car. Oh, did it take me back. Hot off an 18 hour drive from Portland to my town in Indiana, I had stumbled upon 'Bring Back the Nineties' on my Spotify, and so, I'm allowing it. This little moment down memory lane while I'm here. I dug out my old cd book since my 2016 Honda is compatible, and I'm driving around my old town, with the windows down - No Doubt, Goo Goo Dolls, and Smashing Pumpkins (to name a few) blasting.
I'm allowing it.
It has me thinking. Who was I then? If we're going to be here, why not investigate. I'm curious. I haven't thought of that girl in a very long time, and well, since I am on the cusp of a whole new life, why not take a minute to look back.
So far, it's. been. awesome!
I also met my best friend from childhood to present, for a coffee at 4:30pm. We do this each time I pass through town and it is always like no time has elapsed at all. We are still the same high school sophomores not getting invited to the cool parties, but throwing our own anyway. I feel so lucky to have her. She is a rare gem in this mad world, and she anchors me. She reminds me of who I am, who I've always been. She's known me the longest. I have no secrets. She is aware of the flaws in character, each and every one of them. There is nothing to hide, and with all of this she passes zero judgment. She is the safest place to be and will always be home to me.
Well, we had our coffee and then we went out to play. First we went through some old photos she'd recently come across, of us and our friends when we were in middle school, high school, of prom and spring break. We walked to my old elementary school's playground and actually -- played! When was the last time as an adult had I done this? Ever? It was SO FUN! There was a basketball left behind on the blacktop, cosmically, because we both played in our youth, so we did that for awhile, laughing hysterically at ourselves. We reminisced about the things we used to pull, things no one else ever knew about and would never expect from us. We laughed so hard. When had I last laughed that hard? The weather was perfect - the first day to really feel like Spring. We ran all over the place like little kids, remembering everything.
We walked through the streets around our high school as the sun began to set. It felt like a dream. It had been THE BEST day! We ended up at a local bar, returning to our adult status and had a drink. And wouldn't you know the bar was playing all the good stuff from our teen life, and so the trip continued. We talked and laughed non-stop for five hours straight yesterday, but this is normal for us. I got in my car, put in my Cranberries cd and Linger guided me back to my parents, where I met three deer in the front yard. Of course. Why wouldn't my spirit animal family be there too?
When everything is changing, it is nice to come back to a place that will remain your history for the rest of your life. It is who you once were and still are underneath all of the good and bad that took place after you left. So for now, I'm allowing it. A brief glimpse at the girl I was pre-launch. Pre-college, pre-modeling and foreign countries, pre-NYC, pre-serious relationships and heartache, pre-smart phones and social media. I'm journeying back to when everything was so pure and carried such sweet innocence, when we passed hand-written letters between periods and spoke on the phone for hours and hours with boys we liked - when after school we'd jump in my teal LeBaron convertible and blast Dave Matthews - when our worlds were small and uncomplicated and we were the center of it and adulthood was a faraway place...
I'm allowing it.
Just for a second, Wonderwall will pour from my car windows, and I'll be driving and singing (loudly) and smiling as the teenage version of me gets one more go.
Before I go.
Jenni and Me.
So take the photographs, and still-frames in your mind
Hang them on a shelf in good health and good time
Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial
For what it's worth, it was worth all the while
It's something unpredictable, but in the end is right
I hope you had the time of your life
- Green Day, Good Riddance