Wednesday, August 23, 2017

These People Raised Me and I can't Wait To Go Home To Florida

Oh Florida.  The place I called home from ages two and a half until I was 20.  The familiar places and spaces and faces that raised me up to be the quirky human I am today.

As a teen, I swore I would leave for college {I did!} and never return {also true}.  As a 20-something, I lived in fear of running into my past {my mother...not some shady past...I was a goody two shoes for sure}. I went back to my home state only when necessary because of a wedding.  

But it changed when Bestie Florida had the oldest kid in the bunch, Godson J.  Instead of being in knots before heading down south, I was in knots at not seeing my people more than once or twice a year.   I softened on my home state.  Slowly, over time, it once again felt like home.

Also, as of yesterday, I am 39.5 years old.  I remember when my parents were nearly 40 and it seemed ancient.  They had me when they were 30 and 31 and my entire life I told myself I would definitely become a parent sooner than they did.

The humor is not lost on me.

I think though that age has softened me too.  As well as losing my Sadie a year ago.  Time feels more tangible.  And kids grow up so fast.

So do the adults.  

I only get to see these sisters once a year and so much happens in that time frame.  A million conversations and thoughts and giggles take place in my absence.  I know I am missing them all and it makes my heart sad.

I took hundreds of photos on my annual trip to Fort Lauderdale this year.  We went on big and small adventures and I snapped a picture of everything.  But I failed, miserably, to get a good photo of all of us together.  

Regardless, I think what I want to most remember are the conversations we had in the kitchen or sitting by the pool or around Godsister's dining room table or in the car.  The little, seemingly nothing moments that always create the biggest impression.  The warm fuzzies that get me through the 72 months of winter until I go back down to hug them again.  

The first time I heard Ed Sheeran's song Castle On A Hill, it brought me to my childhood neighborhood in Ft. Lauderdale.  Immediately.  These people raised me and I can't wait to go home.  I have tears singing that lyric to myself as it just hits a cord of love and comfort deep down in a place that I never imagined would exist all those years ago when I swore I would run far away from that town.

I realized the other day that one of the things I love the most about being around my sister friends is the comfort that comes from a similar upbringing.  I'm not sure that would make sense to anyone who hasn't gone far from home {be it a place or people or all of the above}.  But when you are nowhere near people or places that traced your childhood, it can at times feel wobbly and daunting.  It's such a relaxing feeling to be with people who saw your footprints in the sand.

I'm not sure what the future holds for me.  Part of me wants to move back down to Florida tomorrow.  Part of me is terrified.  But all of me knows that my heart will always beat extra for the people who feel like family.  And I'm so incredibly grateful to have these amazing adult relationships as a result of our wild and free, always up in a tree childhood.



MCW said...

I was going to ask...have you thought about moving back? What's holding you back?

KatiePerk said...

What a beautiful post!


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