Since I went off to college, I have been trying to escape. I didn't want to live in my hometown forever. I wanted to see more. I wanted to do more. I wanted to explore and spread my wings. So, I decided that going away to college was for me the day of my Dad's funeral. I knew my life had to change and this was the direction that seemed right to me. I then set out to find a way to make this a reality though the odds were not in my favor. No one had gone away to school in my family and I was looked at in disbelief when I announced this was my plan.
I went away to college for the entire freshman year and had fun, shed tears and changed in some ways and possibly digressed in other ways. No one can prepare someone for the challenges of being a college student out on their own. One just has to experience it. I had to grab the bull by the horns and just do it. Some people thrive at it and find this is the way for them. I wanted to be one of these people. Desperately. However, what I didn't expect was to deal with the crushing blow of grief that I had put off for the year and a half since my Dad had died. I squashed those feelings of hurt, loss and bewilderment that one of the people who created me was gone out of my life forever. I did this by being someone that I think both the Lord and me know was not who I should have been and not who I was created to be.
After one year, I retreated back home. I found comfort in being back home around family and old friends. I enjoyed the ability to have a decent job that I didn't have to compete with hundreds of other students to get. Living at home afforded me the ability to have things that poor college students usually couldn't have. I was home. This felt right. Though I was still trying to escape.
So, I partied. Yep, this twinmama enjoyed herself one too many times at the lounge...Okay, we didn't call it the lounge, but you know what I mean. I am sure there were many people in my life that looked at ME in bewilderment thinking, "What are you doing??" I should have been one of them, but I was still numb.
At some point, I picked myself up and decided this wasn't the life for me anymore. I thought returning to college was the best thing for me. This time I would really grab the bull by the horns and get everything out of the college experience. This time was for me! So, I returned to college the following year and spent another year and a half there feeling even more aimless. I had no purpose being there. I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I didn't enjoy what I was learning. I had very few friends who all had their own lives going on. So, I worked. And worked. And worked. This did not fulfill me. It made me even more resentful.
Finally, I decided to leave, but in the midst of making this decision found myself in a relationship with someone from my past that I thought would make me happy. Sometimes we cannot be the person we used to be. I was at this point and realized that I had changed forever. This did not last.
So, I was back home and finished my degree at a local school. I worked while in college and that is where I met twindada. From the moment he asked me out, we have been inseparable ever since. This is hard to believe since we have been together for nine years and married for seven! Being with twindada was the first time that I felt home. I finally found what I was looking for in the midst of chaos and heartache. My world had spun out of control after my father died and for the first time, I found balance again.
At our wedding, we set out a bouquet of flowers for my Dad. I know he was there. Yet, I couldn't find sadness that day. It wasn't because I didn't miss my Dad walking me down the aisle or a father/daughter dance. (I can't stay in the room during this dance at anyone's wedding, it crushes me. What am I going to do when Peanut & Jelly Bean dance with twindada one day??) It was because that day I created a family with twindada and I felt a sense of peace that I had been looking for for years.
It's strange to think about my college years. Twindada and I went to the same college and even lived a street apart one year and yet we met 3 hours away at job. We could have passed each other on the street at any given moment. I could have brushed arms at a club with the father of my children.
Yet it took me going home to find him.
So, maybe that is the key. Home isn't so bad. Home isn't always a place. It is much more than that. I tried to escape my home yet I think that even though I have changed, I have found comfort in the familiarities of my upbringing. I have dear high school friends who I miss and some I am just reuniting with thanks to Facebook. I am not the same person. Never will be, but that is okay. I am a better version of myself because there is one other thing that I haven't mentioned.
I came back to Christ.
When Dad died, I ran like lightning away from God. I still had a reasonable fear of Him, but I was sooo angry. I put up my fist and let Him know this girl was carving her own path. Bad idea. You can see where that got me.
Twindada and I had a spiritual journey (that we are still on!) that changed the course of our lives forever. I believe this is the sole reason I was meant to marry him. I could have made many other choices in my life, but none of those would have glorified God. Him and I were meant to see the love, mercy and grace that the Lord provides. We have seen it every year that we have been together and this year is not any different.
2009 has been one of the most challenging years of our lives together yet we both have felt grateful for the outcome. Neither of us wanted to see twindada lose his job or for us to make the decision to put our house on the market. Stressful things have been happening and it has taken a toll on us! However, every time something challenging happens, it has given us the opportunity to ask the question, "Lord, what do you want to teach us with this adversity in our lives?" God is looking to shape our hearts and I think we are being molded with every challenge.
As I mentioned, we put our house on the market. We JUST moved in a year ago. We are very sad because it is a great house with lots of potential, some we have already taken advantage of with its hardwood floors and beautiful sunroom. Love the sunroom...I digress...
We have made another decision and that is to move back to my hometown. I pray this is the right decision for our family. I am excited about doing this and think the girls will benefit greatly for being closer to my mom. They LOVE their grandma and ask to see her all the time. Being able to see her regularly would be a treat for them. Having my Mom nearby would be a helpful for me as she is my biggest support system besides my husband.
Twindada was able to find a job closer to my Mom's home therefore this is a wise decision for everyone. I pray he is able to find peace in this decision since this is not where he is from. (We are currently living in his home town. It will be a switch for us.) I want everyone to be happy because my family is my first "home". Going back to my "hometown" is a bonus.
I pray we are able to sell our house quickly and move on with our lives. I pray we can find something in my hometown that will be suitable for us while we look for our permanent home. I pray that as we find our next home, we can find comfort in God's loving presence, our real home.
Sometimes writing it all out brings perspective. You know, maybe I will have come full circle in my journey to escape. That is okay. Is it that I am running back to my roots for comfort? Am I bailing on my hellbent attitude of going out on my own and never looking back? Maybe to some, but not to this twinmama. Check out my name. I am a twinmama now. It isn't about me, it is about my family. And my family is my home....are you with me?