Writing Wednesday - Movin' On, Part 2

So, which will it be? California or Illinois?

I have always loved Chicago. In 2006 and 2007, I traveled there four times – twice for work and twice for school. It is an absolutely amazing city, and I loved being able to travel around and see the sites. In truth, I suppose it's not much different than any other big city, but from that time seven or eight years ago, I have felt drawn to the city. My ancestors passed through Chicago as they moved from the east to the west coast. I know almost nothing about them, except that their earliest records are of a child's baptism at a church that is still standing in Chicago. Perhaps that's the link I feel.

California, or more specifically, the Bay Area, is where I was born. I still have relatives there on my father's side of my family. I haven't seen these relatives in almost twenty years, and yet, we've stayed in touch through social media. It would be wonderful to fully reconnect. I have friends there from college, and maybe more important, it is close to what I consider my hometown – Reno. With all the changes I've experienced in the past twelve years, should I return to aspects of my past? That's where I'm hesitant. Yes, it would be wonderful to have connections wherever we move, but I'm not sure if I can reconcile my past with my present or even my future.

I've dealt with my ghosts and I've faced all my demons
Finally content with a past I regret ...

I've been burdened with blame, trapped in the past for too long
I'm movin' on

I've lived in this town,
And I know all the faces.
Each one is different,
But they're always the same.
They mean me no harm,
But it's time that I faced it
They'll never allow me to change,
And, I never dreamed home would end up where I don't belong.

That past I regret? It's not my crisis of faith, but rather my inability to resolve it. It's not the depression or anxiety, but what has happened to exacerbate it. I guess I could also include infertility as one of my demons. I was aware of the issue before I married. I never experienced that type of pain that comes with such extreme hope and extreme disappointment time after time until you just break. And, I thought life was difficult thirteen years ago! The depression still exists, but I am at peace about it. I realize that it will never go away, and like any chronic illness, it will flare up from time to time.

The blame? I realize I must finally claim freedom from those who chose to abandon me, no matter who they are, to wish them well, but stop wondering when they might finally want me back in their life. What point is there in waiting for them to change their hearts? And, why should I feel guilty or feel the blame for actions taken by others. I didn't cause the alienation. It is their burden, not mine. There are so many who have remained in my life, who have loved me for whom I have become, and have concerned themselves with my life. And, while I am reaching middle age, I still have to believe I have a purpose I've yet to claim. I've made my list of what I want to do, and now I must accomplish this list devoid of any more bad decisions – at least as I am able.

Home has such a different meaning for me now. It's so much more than just my hometown or where friends and family live. There are those, whom I know have good intentions, but would only wish to develop a deeper connection if I were a different person. I am continually learning and changing, and I like those changes. I realize not everyone is happy with those changes and wish I would revert to who I was before those changes happened. But, I choose to move forward, not backward. Unfortunately, I know I'm very susceptible to influence. Living among those who want me to be like them or fit a mold that they can accept would be detrimental to whom I have become. I can still love these people from afar and believe that they only want the best for me – "But, I never dreamed homewould end up where I don't belong".

So, Chicago it is. “Life has beenpatiently waiting for me”. Maybe I'll see my bucket list fulfilled. I know I will find more dear friends, and I know I can continue to change without regret or blame. And, hopefully, the only ghosts I'll see will be those of my ancestors telling me how their lives improved when they moved on. And by the way.... "I'm not alone" - not in any sense, not anymore.
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