“Shadows of greatness, yeah, it's the story of a small town… We wore the colors of our favorite little let down..”
Two miles. Eight Laps.
Around a field that almost speaks to me and reminds me of who I am and where I come from.
October sparks a new flame in my heart, as the air thins, and the sun kisses me instead of burns. This stir-crazy mama, routinely staring at a screen, along with mountains of crumbs and dishes, feels the pressure. A peek out of the window at the blue sky, and the adventurer in me reveals a smile, as she takes a deep breath.
Days like this, days this beautiful, where the calendar is not pressing on my chest, are rare. I can not express the feeling my heart has for longing, for fresh air, to get out of this house. To be somewhere other than here. Somewhere other than this town. Somewhere where the roads are smooth, and you do not feel like every other smile is fake. A place where you are not reminded of tragedy, and heartbreak wherever you travel, because you just do not know how to replace those memories with new ones. I know this world is so big and here I am, where the trees are my friends on this hill. Where the kisses of coffee accompany me, while my husband works full time and goes to school full time.
I long for more. I long for change. I long for passion. Some days I feel like a caged bird. Music floats through my home, and I hang on the words, they give me life.
The peek out the window tells me to change my perspective and I might just change my life. I might just find new life in this old town I call my home. Maybe this town was not meant to free me with excitement, but stillness. Maybe I need to free myself and create this life I long for.
So I drive. Drive to roads that I never knew. See trees I’ve never seen. On a mission with no destination, only a goal of something new and different. My drive leads me here, to my high school football stadium. To a place I have not been in years, although I live less than ten minutes from it. Stepping out of the car, and popping open the stroller for my little James, I look forward to a nice walk around.
<< my lime green bedroom circa 2006
About one lap in, it all started to hit me. The memories flooded my soul and painted pictures all around me on that vacant track.
What am I running from?
I saw me and my girlfriends walking around the track on a Friday night chatting and eating cheese fries. I saw a girl pushing me down the hill in my park league cheerleading uniform. I saw the visitor side platform, where I was shocked when I witnessed a girl my age making out with a much older guy. I saw me working in the concession stand laughing with a guy who is now gone from this earth. I looked up and saw my friend and I walking on top of picnic tables under a pavilion singing Dreamstreet songs. I could see the baseball fields where I walked around to watch my little sister play ball, with a boy who never even knew I loved him so, and wrote so many poems about him, but we were just “friends”.
I saw me walking on the field at homecoming with my dad, before things changed. I saw the homecoming court with a beautiful soul who was taken way too soon. I saw her smile. I saw me nervously walking while my hands sweated profusely, wearing my first “real” boyfriends’ jacket and could almost smell his Curve cologne. I saw my cheerleading squad and I saw a boy in the band playing “Sunshine” on the tuba for us to dance to. I saw my little sister playing football with some boys and outrunning them all. I saw his eyes as he looked at me and said he loved me and would never leave me. I saw my class graduating and all the tears and joy and hope from that day. I saw my best friend giving her final high school speech and a boy, breaking my heart as he gave his. I saw it all.
I remember that girl. A mess, but so full of hope for adventure, love and life. I remember that she thought she would do so many great things ten years from then, and now I feel like I am just spinning my wheels most days. Just trying to keep up. In that moment, I saw the beauty in it all. The road that God lead me down was not my own for sure, yet the best way, and crazy beautiful at every angle. I love my life and thank God for it every day I am blessed with a breath.
Reflection is important as you grow. Knowing that it was all meant to be the way it is, and you are where you are right now, because that is where you are meant to be. Maybe you are meant to be where you are, to realize the only way you must go is up, and to build your inner strength, which friend, can be O so strong after pressing through the tough stuff. Maybe you are in this place so that God will reveal to you the bigger picture, and because of the wait, you a better person for it. Whatever it may be, perspective is key, it is truly freeing. On my walk around, I let things go, felt each memory and felt myself smile on the home side of the field. My home. This town will forever be that to me. <3
^^senior night 2008