Here's the thing.
Here's the raw and brutal truth.
Sometimes, you can't go back.
You can't go back to the town that broke you.
If I were going to turn my story into biographical fiction?
It would start like this:
"The town I once loved...the town I grew up in and spent over half of my life in by the age of 35? I drove back there and it's filled with happiness and shame. The library where I spent days as a little girl dreaming of being a writer? It doesn't have the same feeling. It has the feeling of being there as an adult and people peering at me over the stacks. Peering and watching the woman and her children who his suicide abandoned and broke. In a town I was once so completely and utterly anchored to? Friends I was once so tied to? The town and the friends released their grip on me and my pain. Left me floundering in the night. The town that was once so woven into every single fabric of who I was? Sometimes? Sometimes when I drive back there? I don't recognize the streets or the buildings. Sometimes I see younger versions of myself.....age 3 skipping to the store with my mom. Age 7 riding my bike to the park. Age 13 going to the movies downtown with my friends. Happy. Age 19 moving away. Age 24 coming back. Age 31 becoming a mother and pushing her baby to the library. Age 34 hiking with her toddler and newborn in the woods. Age 35 on the hill...burying her husband. And sometimes I don't recognize any of it. It's stained. He broke it. He broke so much more than they will ever know or think of or understand."
Sometimes you can't go back. To a place. To a house. To a town. To who you were "before".
And that's ok.
It's simply part of it.
You can't go back to who you were. She's gone now.
Standing in her place?
Strong and fragile.
With a story under her fingernails.
And a fire in her heart.
Your life is YOUR life.
You have to keep living.
You have to keep going.
You have to find ways to heal and find ways to start over.
Do not cling to the past.
Do not keep telling yourself that you can't go on ....that you'll never be happy.
Sometimes you can't go back.
You can only live forward.
Love always, Nik
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