Card pulled: potential. When I was 10 years than I am now, my life was extremely different. I was ready to start a new life with the one man I believed I was going to spend the rest of my life with, in the state I had been dreaming about since I was 12.
I am a Midwestern girl, born and bred. I live in layers for 3/4ths of the year, excluding the summer months when it's so balmy that some nights I wish I had the ability to unzip my skin.
Florida has always had this magical element to it that seemed like I was meant to live there. I had this picture of an apartment that had a patio where I could sit and feel the tropical breeze surrounding me as I sat and read a book or wrote in my journal or just looked out to stare at the palm trees and breathe in the orange jasmine blossoms. My best friend at the time lived there and she had a best friend who was a man I had fallen for. What could be more perfect than living in a place you've dreamed about for years with 2 of your favorite people in the entire universe?
Everything, apparently. When Brian and I finally made it to Florida, there was a reality I was not prepared for. The people who were "so excited to meet me" were only being nice to me because my ex told them to, and they didn't care who I was as a person. These people people had no problem being intimately involved with one another and destroying one another, but when they complained about each other to me, caring or showing any emotion at all was enough for all but a handful of people to turn on me, teeth baring and all. My fantasy came crashing down in a fiery nightmare, including the abusive side of a man I had given everything to. And still, I was the evil one for finally having enough of it and finding the courage to leave.
Once I came home and was surrounded by family, being back home again, I felt like I needed to be here. I missed a lot while I was gone and 8 months after I got back, I lost a family member to cancer. [after my dad's mom passed away on Christmas day 1997, we started going to Christmases on my mom's side of the family starting in 1998]. Up until that point, we had only been celebrating Christmas with my dad's side of the family so when my mom's took us in, we were a bit shell shocked and didn't really know what to do. This woman, Kathy, explained who everyone was and how I was related to them. It was because of her that I got to know all of my cousins and got to see them grow into the awesome people they are now.
I still think about living the wanderlust life, and I know my past doesn't define me, but being away from home has taught me the importance of family and sticking around. I know I have the potential to live a great life no matter where I go, but will I allow myself that adventure? Only time will tell...