Remember The Place That Built You?

This is the place that built me.

It’s nothing especially fancy. It’s humble — salt of the earth.

It’s small enough that it only takes a few minutes to drive from end to end.

It’s the town that raised me up, from a childhood filled with friends long gone, to those cringeworthy middle years, and then on to high school, which was both miserable and spectacular.

It saw me through everything that mattered back then — the grades, the activities, the jobs. The crushes, the drama, the rebellion. The achievements. And the moments that somehow stand still in time, and yet are gone forever.

It gave me the friends who built me up and tore me down and carved their names into my heart. Best friends. Soulmates, maybe.

It brought me first love…when I was too young to know any better. And later it brought my first heartbreak.

I still remember the feeling of sitting in the stands for Friday night football games. And the feeling of cruising down the main street, or out in the country, singing, talking, crying, doing so many things we knew we shouldn’t do.

Today, I can’t drive more than a block or two through town without something tugging at my memories. I either close my eyes and smile so wide, or I uncover old wounds to the heart. It’s all just so beautiful, though. Wild and painful, but beautiful.

I still know that girl, the girl I used to be back then, when I lived in the town that built me. I still hurt for her, for all she went through. I still cringe for her, too, for all she didn’t know and for all she should have done better.

And I’m just so thankful for her…for being so young, for pushing enough limits to make the memories, for loving so hard, and for being so willing to go through all that she did…just to help get me here today.

So after high school, this town reluctantly sent me out into the world.

To learn more.

To see something different.

To grow up.

But it prepared me for all of it, too.

College, another big love, another heartbreak — the kind that leaves a scar when it’s healed, just so you won’t forget. Meeting more lifelong friends. The whole of my 20s, some of which I’d rather forget. Learning to love who I am in my 30s.

And now. For all I have and all I am.

So now, I get to look back at this messy, hard, extraordinary life, the life I’ve lived so far…

…and now I know just how blessed I am to be from this small town, with these good people, where another generation is making memories.

And I love that the road always leads me back in this direction.

Back toward the town that built me.

Similar Posts