I wonder if this happens to everyone, but I notice a lot of circling in my life as of late. A lot of things going on in my life have stemmed from me spending a lot more time back home in my old community. I remember taking a class last year and it let out early and I didn't want to go home because all that was waiting for me there was a lot of broken dreams and heartache. So I called my mom, asked if she wanted a coffee, and she went and grabbed my family and we had a big ol gab session. I needed the hugs and the unconditional TLC that only your relatively sane family can give you. Anyhow, that turned into me spending a lot more time back home and bringing my kids there, something I hadn't done too often in previous years. It allowed me to reconnect with who I was before marriage and kids and remember that fireball and it's allowed me to proceed with life a little more easily and has given me strength to move forward.
Anyhow, fast forward to today, I'm at a place where I volunteered and worked for nearly 20 years ago. I really hate the fact that I can say that, but yes, it was 20 years ago when I entered my teens. I worked at this organization as a youth writer and was published! So if you want someone to blame for me foisting my thoughts and writings on the world, it's them since they told me that I was somewhat good at it. I'm back at this place offering myself up as a volunteer. I need something in my life while I wait for school, but I also want to get back into my community and give back. The woman I was talking to, I was rehashing an old story where I had written an article about our local community police liaison committee and it wasn't too favourable. I was then summoned to a meeting, where a dozen or so grown adults proceeded to tear me a new one. They were mad, livid. It's not what I had written was untrue, but they didn't like the way I called them on it. So I was telling her that I had to go to the local police precinct where this meeting was taking place, and the then staff inspector, who is now chief of police in my fair city was kind enough to chair it. So as I'm recounting this story, it dawns on me, that police building was torn down, the agency where I worked out of to write that article was torn down, and that agency was where I was retelling the story today, sits on the former site of the police building. In fact the chewing out I got, happened within about 15 feet of where we were sitting. (Part of me thought HA!!!! I admit that) It was just such a cool wow moment for me. Nearly 20 years ago, I had written a story that had gotten me into trouble and here I was again, retelling this story, hoping to give back to the agency that got me writing in the first place.
I like to reflect on my life a lot lately and that despite my then efforts to run away from the community I grew up in and leave all the bad things behind, I neglected to see all the good things I left behind too. I thank whatever force is out there to give me the wisdom that day to head back home and be reminded of what I was missing in my life. It wasn't high powered positions or lots of money and influence, I realized I might never see a backstage pass again in my life, but returning home, I had regained so much more. I remember the poverty and despair, but I also remember the hope and determination. A type of love and character that can only be found by people who have walked through hell to see the other end and were all the more wiser for it. I've been given so many gifts from my home and community, the ability and confidence to write and put myself out there being one of them, but the friends, family I've been blessed with. The connections that you have where you might not have seen someone in 15 years, but you pick up like you've never left and welcomed back with open arms, no matter how much you've changed for the better or worse. I hope everyone has a special place and community like this that they can retreat to and get the opportunity to truly see and experience how valuable a resource it is to have in one's life.