All this talk about Colorado and making plans and meeting people and figuring out how to simplify everything has all become a blur. It’s finally hit me that I’m literally running away. And the timer to that is ticking fast. It’s only 3 months away! Holy. Shit.
It really just recently hit me that I’m actually leaving. And by leaving, I’m leaving everything behind. 2,000 miles is far enough that for the first time in my life, I have to learn how to adult for real. Whaaaaatttt?!?!!
But I’m leaving behind a lot of good memories. Part of me doesn’t want to leave my hometown because there’s still so much good stuff here, but I know I made this decision because I needed change. Everything’s going to change. Am I ready for that?
My mom and I had brunch recently, and she likes to do this thing where she reminisces about the good times of my childhood (like when I wedged a pencil into the front door lock or that time that I had a pet goat named Q-tip. Both true stories). I think she’s trying to piece my memory back together for me because I finally got it across to her that I don’t remember my childhood. Everything up until about 6th grade is just a fog or non-existent. What was I blocking? So yeah, apparently I did have some good memories. And all of those will forever reside in my hometown that I’m leaving behind.
It’s sad though, really. Now that I know I’m about to leave it all, I keep finding the things from this place that I really do or did enjoy, the places I remember, the people I knew. The dock at the boatyard that my high school best friend and I would get high and stare at the stars and dream of what was going to happen to us. The pavilion in the park where my high school friends and I hop the fence to and chug Miller Lite. The tattoo studio where I’ve gotten all my life-changing tattoos and formed some awesome relationships with the artists. The art supply store that I still technically work in and have since I was 14. The wonderful people there that will gladly welcome me back whenever I want to. There’s the community college where I spent a lot of time trying to figure my life out after I flunked out of the first college I went to. The park underneath the bridge where I’d climb on the rocks with my friends or by myself and watch the waves and sailboats go by. All of these things and all of these memories are all going to remain here.
But I’m also leaving my cat (temporarily), my neurotic pitbull 9 year old puppy, and most importantly, my mom. In the end, I wanted to get away from everything and everyone and start over, as if I didn’t ever live in Maryland. But in reality? I love my mom and I will miss her. She’s done so much for me and put up with all 22 years of my bullshit from climbing out of my crib as a baby to crashing her car multiple times. This woman will drop everything to have a conversation with me (like the time I completely fried my hair off with bleach and I called her while she was at a conference and she actually talked me through my crying and freaking out. Overdramatic, but my hair was past my shoulders and I had to get it cut the shortest it’s ever been. Yes, it’s traumatizing to see bunches of your hair break off of your head). So I’ve decided to take a piece of her with me.
Before I leave, I’ll get this tattooed on my forearm to remind me of home. My mom is a closet Lord of the Rings fan (she wrote her senior paper or something like that about LOTR in college, before the books were even well known. Pretty hardcore if you ask me). LOTR will always remind me of my mother. I think she likes to live her life by these books when I think back on it. She’s always encouraged me to go after the impossible, knowing the setbacks, how far it is to climb to anywhere, but to know that everything is possible if I really want something. I hated her at the time for pushing me so much, but now I know that she only wanted me to keep going even when it seemed hopeless. She taught me that courage is found in unlikely places. I’ll keep that close to me.
So this is for you, Mom:
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
– J.R.R. Tolkien