“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”
I’ve been in a retrospective mood lately since I knew I was coming home for at least a month now. I couldn’t really tell many people since the purpose was a surprise. So, I decided to write about the past to find clues for the future.
Yesterday, I went to my best friend’s wedding shower. It was a surprise at that, and a blast from the past as well. Kristin was coming back from a trip with her close friends Kat and Dani, as they drove up from Ocean City, MD to New Jersey. This was just in time to “pick up some sandwiches” at Bill’s Luncheonette, a local staple in our hometown, only to surprise Kristin with a wedding shower.
It was really nice to see some key people I used to be very close with, as when I do come home it’s not for that long or often. I’ve come home more frequently lately, since my grandma is old and in her nineties. I’d like to cherish the time I have with her while it’s limited. Though, it is also good timing since Kristin is getting married soon.
Upon my drive from one part of NJ to another, I immediately remembered how to get to my destination. I am a fool when it comes to directions, so I looked it up in my iPhone just in case. I didn’t need it. Years of driving the same way habitually came back to me. I was surprised because when I visit NJ, I usually don’t drive.
I was smiling at the drive from Morris Plains to Randolph. I remembered stopping at a certain person’s house shortly after getting my license, or getting stuck in a snow bank because the roads were so hilly and windy. I remembered running through what felt like 10 miles on those back roads and then onto the trails. I noticed that the trails are much more feasible for running now, as back then I would come home with bruised knees or sore feet from running on the rocks & rubble.
I passed by a good friend Cassie’s house and realized her parents probably don’t live there anymore. I smelled the funny farm smells and looked out for horses. They weren’t there.
Sometimes life has a way of moving on and you don’t even realize it is happening. I have moved on from the places, not people, and made a life for myself in Florida. Just like those that live in NJ have transitioned from high school, to college, to moving back home on their own. My question is, where did time go and why didn’t I try to keep “home where the heart is”?
I wouldn’t say I uprooted myself to run away from certain situations or places. Instead, I saw an opportunity to create a new life for myself. At eighteen, a lot of people didn’t understand that. Then again, they might not have fully understood me or my reasonings.
I wrote about my college decisions. It wasn’t based upon following my then boyfriend to college. It also wasn’t about going to the best school. It was about taking control of my life and making a change. Plain and simple.
I give gratitude for where I am today and where I’m about to go. I wouldn’t be the person that I am without the competitive and intelligent nature of my high school. I surprise people now with all the drive that I have. I always have been passionate and dedicated to my work, and to the quality of it. I have framed the vision in different ways over the years, but I wouldn’t be me without some people like Britney, Bruce, Dani, or Kristin.
Every once and a while I reflect and remember what Britney wrote to me in my senior yearbook. She said that I would be very successful one day. It’s not one of those “good luck” type yearbook entries, she really meant it. She basically said how multi-talented I am and how would one day be very successful. At eighteen I was in awe that she would say that, but at twenty-six I’m determined to make that happen.
What I do want to say is that I might be the one that got away, but I’m not gone. The NJ is strong within me just as much as the beach dweller flowed within me back then. I’m just living by prettier beaches now
I had a fantastic time reminiscing with people I haven’t seen in years. I just didn’t expect that I would learn that much more of myself, by bridging the disjointed past with the future.