We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. By clicking on the links and making a purchase, you're helping to support the site so we can keep bringing you badass ideas.
I packed up and left my hometown of Jackson, Wyoming, a bit over a year ago, shortly after I decided that I also needed to end my marriage. I put what I had (and actually wanted) in a U-Haul and made the nearly 1,600 mile trek to Louisville, KY, with my dad behind the wheel. I had secured my very first apartment all for myself, stopped at Ikea for new and necessary furnishings and planted myself in a fairly foreign locale (save for some amazing ladies who I’ve known FOREVS).
In the year since I was last in my mountainous place of birth, I have worked a couple of less-than-awesome serving jobs, learned how to bartend, and have relocated to Texas to be with my new fella. **Background: He and I met in a bar back home right before I was set to leave. He was also leaving, but we had a pretty obvious spark. We planned a trip to Mexico for Christmas, kind of leaving it at that. He came to visit me in Kentucky. I stayed with him in Texas for a week after our trip to Mexico. And then, a few months later, I moved there to be with him.
I’m in a happy, healthy relationship, and have now stepped foot back on my native soil for the first time since watching it fade in my rearview mirror. And my man is on my arm.
Throughout the years, I have left Jackson behind to explore new opportunities, see strange cities and feel out new relationships. I’ve come back for varying reasons, but this town is too small and too familiar for me, for now. I have never reveled in the return, and in truth have always regarded it with a sense of dread and disdain.
But this time is different. I have put my own life together in a way that makes me happy, comfortable, and successful. I have forged a strong, healthy relationship with someone who cares about me and cares for my safety. And this time? I couldn’t wait to return, to show off this new side of me that I deign to say no one has seen. I can’t wait to introduce him to my friends, my father and anyone else I may run into.
Returning home has always been difficult for me, because I haven’t been happy. And as we drove into the valley, I saw it through those silly rose-colored glasses everyone is always talking about. And I realized, not for the first time but for a new time, that I am happy in the choices I have made and the person I am. What’s different this time around is that I’m not worried about decisions that will be made, or decisions that have been made, but rather completely content that I’ve made the correct decisions for myself and only myself. I know I have the strength to continue to do so … for myself. For the first time, I’m able to walk onto my old stomping grounds with my head held high, knowing who I am, who I am with, and who I will continue to grow to be.