In just a couple short days, I am set to take a road trip to my hometown. I’m anticipating sitting on the lakeside benches, staring out at the quiet, frozen lake. In summer, my hometown is a tourist attraction. In winter, it is a sleepy little ghost town, with nothing but imagined echoes of splashing children, broken curfews of the town’s teens, and frisbee in the wading water.
But to me, year round, this tiny little town has always been, and will always be, home. On many occasions, I have found a broken C running back to her roots, looking for enlightenment. It was just recently that I realized how big of a paradox this is. It is my safe haven, a population that can fill me of bliss. This is something I have never understood, as it holds my deepest struggles, and my most profound pains.
Isn’t it funny how the most haunting of places can still be the most comforting? I can still see a younger version of me playing with my mom in our back yard, and a freshly adolescent me skipping class with my forever best friend. I can still picture barbecues on the back deck on a hot summer day, during the simpler times. Wherever I end up in this world, I will always return home.
Ironically though, this sleepy little town still houses a steady bang on the counter when my mother read my brother’s suicide note. This sleepy little town still holds a seven year old creeping out of her room to see chaos, and to hear the enclosing sound of ambulance sirens. This sleepy little town owns my innocence being ripped from me when I learned the definition of “suicide” as it was being followed by my brother’s name. This sleepy little town takes ownership for my increasing inability to fall in love, in fear of being betrayed and abandoned, just like I was so many years ago.
Yet, I will go back this weekend, and will peer out at the frozen lake, with the huts of ice fishers. I will once again go back and ask the water: What is my next move? Where do I go from here? And like so many times before, a seven year old C will appear beside me, and I will feel whole again. If only for a moment.