Moving to Los Angeles eight years ago was quite exciting to me. I was newly married and we were going to embark on this fantastic journey together, moving from Tampa Florida to Los Angeles, cross country, what an adventure.
Nothing went as planned, not even the marriage, but there were a great deal of beautiful lessons learned in those eight years that has sparked personal growth like I never imagined possible. Now that I have experienced this growth, which was at times both painful and beautiful, I want to continue to step outside of my comfort zone, more than I have already. I embraced it all. The result, my life resembles nothing of the life I had 20 years ago.
I recently decided to go back to my hometown because I wanted to be there for my daughter when she became a mother for the first time. I spent the better part of a year in Savannah as my daughter got use to motherhood, and learn to make decisions for two instead of just one. I loved being there for my daughter and my granddaughter. I even thought of moving back to Savannah to be closer to family, especially that grandbaby, but also for my aging parents.
I discovered that the latter was a bit premature.
I learned two things from this experience of returning to the place I called home. First, home is where your heart is, where you have built a life and a lifestyle. When you do go back, you unfortunately step right back into your life as it was when you left. Yes you discover that you have probably changed quite a bit, but what you left behind is pretty much the same. Yes even the people, and that is the discouraging part. You assume that people have grown at the same rate that you have and you don't give it much thought until you are forced to do so.
That doesn't mean that people don't change, it is just the way in which they change. Often times they grow deeper into the type of person they were before, their complacency, jealousy, or hatred just festers.
When you grow in a direction that is much different from most of those that you know, especially those that you may have grown up with, then you can't go back, you can't pick up where you left off, your core values may still be the same, but your life's experiences has forever changed your perspective. It doesn't mean that one is right and the other is wrong, it is merely ones experiences that molds them or lack there of.
For a few years now I was really missing home and family. A great deal of that was because I had been sick after having several major surgeries, and realized just how far I was from all that was familiar to me.
On my last visit and I met up with an old friend, Snappper, that convinced me that it was probably time to consider moving back to the east coast. I felt like I could do this, that I could come back to Savannah, because I was a changed person, and my perception of things was different, my perception of Savannah was different.
So the timing was perfect, my daughter was going to be a mommy and my parents were getting older.
See Snapper was not just an old friend, he was an old boyfriend. And for some reason whenever we would run into each other, regardless of the amount of time that has passed, the sparks would fly, and we would talk about getting back together. It would never happen, for the same reasons that it didn't happen many years ago.
Then in the blink of an eye Snapper died from lung cancer, at the tender age of 53. This was the third of my friends that died from cancer in three months, all while I was back home.
You just can't go back.