Today I'm not here.
Instead I'm visiting a small community north of Los Angeles. It's a community nestled in the foothills near the Angeles National Forest.
I'm stepping back in time to visit the place where I grew up.
In reality, it's only about seventy miles from where I live now.
In L.A. drive time that means an hour and a half … or much, much, longer.
In my mind, it could not be further away.
For many of you, a day-trip like this would be no big deal.
I haven't been back to visit the home I grew up in for over twenty years.
There are reasons I haven't been back to visit.
My body tenses at the thought of returning and my stomach clenches in knots.
For me, this is a Very.Big.Deal.
It is something I've been saying I would do, but putting off, for several years.
Logically, I know there are many good memories left behind.
But there are painful ones also … very painful ones.
Why is it the painful memories always supercede the positive ones?
I left for college when I was 17, and I never came back.
Oh, I came back to my family (they moved), but I never came back to the place.
I've never gone to any of my high school reunions.
I, intentionally, never listed my high school on Facebook so there would be no chance of anyone from my past finding me.
I don't want to be found.
I've worked very hard not to be reminded of the past.
I've stayed in touch with exactly *one* person I knew in high school.
I left, and I made a new life.
No regrets, no looking back ….
Except, today, this is something I know I need to do.
I'm not sure why, but I know I need to go back ….
I'm scared …
In fact, I'm terrified.
Have you ever faced down painful memories from your past?
© Twenty Four At Heart