I have found myself at the coffee shop lately while I am home, it’s a place I can get some work done without distraction of the million people we are staying with here. The ability to work remotely during summer has it’s benefits and this coffee shop is one of them. While I was growing up it was where a local paper was published for many years, I love the history it holds. Both physical and the strange small reminder of my childhood that it holds.
It’s strange being home for an extended period of time. Typically I do day trips. It’s been a long time since I have spent any length of time here. The theme feels like reconnection. With family. With friends. Friends of childhood and friends I know from my triathlon world. Those worlds have been colliding, in a great way.
I have mixed feelings about being home again. I have the luxury of having a completely different name than I grew up with. Growing up I was called by my middle name, and now I am called by my first name. I took my husband’s last name which has kind of given me a new identity. It’s not that I want to forget who I grew up as. I had a good childhood. But we all endure things, things that are difficult. Sometimes those things leave scars and change us. They are hard at the time but they shape who we are, therefore we don’t want to lose.
I have some scars, as we all do. Many are from those tumultuous years I spent deep in the hole of my eating disorder. If you know anything about EDO’s it’s so so much more than binge and purge. I have been in recovery for 22 years….. but as with anything…. and with anything we overcome…. there are those things that remind us of what we were like at our worst. I think I spent a lot of time running away from my past, and in recent years I have run towards it. I don’t regret anything I have been through or have done, good bad and ugly. It’s part of who I am.
I have loved heading out on runs through my old town. I can’t help but smile, I love these streets. I love running into old friends and having that middle of the road catch up and hug. It’s happened each time I head out. There are people I am delighted to see. There are people I pray I avoid and I pray don’t recognize me.
On Sunday I met up with some of my triathlon buddies and spent 3 hours riding roads I grew up near but I never traversed. I wasn’t a cyclist growing up…. so I had no reason to be out there. We climbed climbs that I wished I had known about sooner. We rode through farm towns and communities…. stopped at what felt like an old fashioned corner store. It was my first group ride in 3 years, another check of the box on this journey back. In traveling those roads I felt the fitness continuing to rebuild. I love the feeling of beginning again on all levels.
In the evening I headed out for a run, saw an old friend and felt so blessed….. and I know that’s a cheesy thing to say, but it’s how I felt. I ran though the cemetery and paid a visit to a friend we lost long ago, and then I felt brave. There is a street that I avoid and I won’t run down, a painful memory always surfaces…. all these years later I still feel that feeling. That pain. I thought it was time to head down it. Halfway down, I turned back. Not ready. Not now. I think we all have those things that we just aren’t ready to do yet. We all have our battles. We all have our pain. Without the difficult times the good times would never happen and the beautiful things never appreciated.
As I sit in this second story window bar of the coffee shop and look out over town it feels strange to be home. It’s incredible how this town has changed and evolved. It’s interesting how some of us have rebuilt their homes here and how we come back and see what has changed. It’s healing in some ways and painful in other ways. I often wonder if I would ever move back here, I don’t think I would. This makes me realize how rooted I am in Rochester. It’s close enough from home, but far enough. Nonetheless it’s good to be back, running around town (literally) and exploring.