I tried posting pics and video but something is wrong with my photo library and I don’t have time to figure it out. If I don’t write now, I probably never will.
How can people fully describe things that mean so much to them? Does anyone ever feel like they’ve properly explained how they feel? I never do. I try so hard to really make what I write match what I feel and what I think but I never feel like i’ve done even a decent job. That’s why I use metaphors so much but even that doesn’t fully explain things.
I recently felt a feeling i’ve never felt before and I don’t know if there is even a name for it. I will talk about DC another time. Right now, I just want to try to explain how it felt to be back in Virginia around the places I grew up. Like I said, I haven’t felt that feeling before and I don’t know a name for it. I’m still trying to process it. Almost feels like it didn’t even happen.
As we got closer to Virginia, I started getting emotional and no one really understood it. It’s always embarrassing to show my emotions in front of people because I feel things in a way that doesn’t make sense to the people closest to me and I often times look crazy. I give things a lot of meaning. If something means something to me, it’s rarely casual. The things I care about are valuable. I am invested in them. My childhood memories are sacred to me. They are priceless. They are treasures that hold more value than anything money could buy. Over the years, i’ve returned to those memories very frequently. In fact, it’s a refuge for me. If my mind were a house, my childhood memories is probably my favorite room. One which I spend a lot of time in. All of the time I have spent returning to that place in my mind, the words I have dedicated on my blog or even scattered sheets of paper tucked away in plastic bins, there’s just a lot of weight there. I’ve longed to return to those places since I left.
And maybe the way I left has a lot to do with it. I’ve always been very rooted in my own reality. As long as I can remember, i’ve pondered everything. My life, the people in it, the situations I find myself in, my environment. I once explained on here how a person’s perspective is like a map they use to navigate life. Well, i’ve worked on my map so much it’s like the google earth street view. I’ve put a lot of work into it, laying it all out over the years. I know it like the back of my hand. All of the details are there in vivid color and i’ve continuously tweaked it and adjusted it so it’s just right for me. I’m rarely casual. As much of a clown as I can appear a good 99.9% of the time, i’m probably one of the most serious people I know when it comes to things that matter to me. By the time I was 11, I was very much rooted in that reality and, at that time, was a lot more rigid than I am now. I loved change in everything BUT the things that mattered. Change the colors on the wall, move the furniture around, change outfits multiple times a day, cut my hair, wear it curly, wear it straight, listen to every kind of music imaginable, lose yourself in every daydream you could possibly dream up, no routines…….. but the fixtures must remain. They stay put. This house. This yard. This tree. This block. These people. This trajectory remains in tact because i’ve taken so much time drawing up the details on my map, there’s no way i’m erasing it. Add to it, sure. But don’t erase anything. Don’t take me out of my reality and drop me into someone else’s. But that’s exactly what happened. Near the end of the school year, our 5th grade class took a field trip to the Jr. High we would be attending. I always looked forward to that rite of passage. It was part of my map. Summer came and I was looking forward to nights under the stars, early mornings by the river, being an official “cool kid” because I was no longer in elementary school. More freedom, more life experience. It was going to be the best summer, yet. I don’t know what the fuck my parents were thinking but they told us we were moving to Florida at the end of the summer and that was that. I don’t even remember what happened that summer. There’s a gap in my memory. It went from school being out to pulling off with the little bit we had in a U-haul and saying goodbye to literally everything I knew. Just like that.
I can’t explain how much I fucking hated Jacksonville when I moved here. I fucking HATED IT. I would get into it but I don’t want to ruin my story.
As we got closer to the border, I got nervous. I worried that I didn’t remember things correctly and, by returning, I would be slapped with the reality that everything I knew was a lie. I don’t know what the significance to crossing the border was but as soon as we were in Virginia, I bawled my eyes out. I couldn’t stop crying. Yes, time went on for that place. But, for me, it waited for me. It was a time capsule, waiting to be opened again. Even the smell of the air coming through the car window felt familiar. The dogwoods. The old silos and fields. I could cry just thinking about it. For the most part, everything looked different….. but we’d be driving down the highway and i’d remember driving down that same road in the back of the car with my mom. I’d hear the music and remember being small, remember the clothes and just everything about that time. Memories started pouring in like a flood, filling little cracks in my mind. As we got closer to our old neighborhood, I got excited seeing the things I had forgotten about. The grocery store my mom shopped at. The cow on top of the farmer’s market. Joe’s gas station. Inside of the gas station was the same as I remember. Even the restroom. It was all almost too much to handle. It didn’t even feel real. All of the time I had spent in my mind over the years, revisiting those places, they all just seemed so far away…… far enough that they almost weren’t real outside of my mind. To be back was something strange. Like, this place actually does exist and I am here breathing this air. I met up with my friends and walked the neighborhood. I can’t describe what that felt like. Especially the river.
Seeing my old school was absolutely crazy. I’ve gotten on Google Earth to check it all out before but you can’t get all up in there and I forgot about a lot of it. Like hanging out behind the gym during baseball games. The trailer where my class was had moved, it was closer to the breezeway connecting the school to the gym. Aside from that, the school looked exactly the same. Doesn’t look like they had any renovations or upgrades. Crazy how tiny that place really was. I can’t explain what it felt like to be back there. There was MY REALITY, then suddenly, NEW REALITY. I didn’t adjust, well. So being back where I grew up was like finding something that I lost. Well, something that was taken from me. It was just crazy. But I was so happy.
But seeing my grandparents neighborhood was different. It was sad. Like I cried the entire time I was there, sad. And i’ll have to save that for part two because I don’t feel like staying up crying all night lol.