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Thanks to that Small Town

Updated: Mar 30, 2021

I visited the area where I grew up this weekend.

I didn't even drive through the town where I lived, but just being so close was enough to invoke all of these feelings and bring to surface these beliefs that I used to have about myself. Feelings of shame, guilt, anger, happiness, joy and nostalgia. Being nearby was enough for me to feel so deeply and truly, just how far I've come in the 8 years since I moved away.

When I think about myself back then, as a young teenager to early 20 something adult, I had no fucking clue who I was or where I was going or what I wanted to do or what I was meant to be here for. I was surviving, not thriving. Every time I go back I'm reminded of why I needed to leave. There's nothing specific, there's no specific reason that I can pinpoint for why my skin tends to crawl every time I go back. That small town gave so much to me but took so much at the same time. I have so many fantastic memories but they seem to be enmeshed with some bad memories.

I have very little ties there anymore but the ones I do, are loving and fulfilling. I only go back for those people. It's conflicting for me because I know this town is home to so many. So many people find this area so comforting, but for me it stirs up all of these feelings of insecurity, unworthiness and inadequacy. Maybe that will never change. Maybe that is just something that I have tied to the town. Maybe it's something I need to go through every single time I visit it. It's part of my shadow, it's part of me. This town may just be that thing that is always meant to remind me of my growth. It will always be one of the catalysts for my own awakening. Even as I'm driving home and tearing up and remembering all of the things I went through, all of the uncomfortable moments, all of the fantastic things that happened there, all the wonderful people I've met and have stayed in my life up until this point, it's such a conflicting stream of emotions. I'm meant to feel this. I'm meant to feel it all.

If you knew me when I lived in that small town, and haven't seen me since, you don't know me now. That version of me has died and been reborn more times than I can even count now. So this more wise, self-aware version of myself that goes back to this town, to this area and picks up little pieces of my old self along the way. Maybe I'm not actually feeling more broken as I go back each time, maybe I'm feeling more whole as I pick up these pieces that have been left behind by me as I ran to escape. As I ran to leave behind this town that opened me up and closed me off all at the same time.

As I've arrived back home now to my new comfort, my new place of growth, the place that also is filled with so many conflicting emotions, I realize how thankful I am that I followed my intuition to get me here. I listened to my higher self even if I didn't know that's what I was doing at the time. I listened to her and I did what was best for me and my now version of myself. This version will die and be reborn thousands of more times throughout my life and I hope that each time that happens I'm able to look back on all of those versions with as much gratitude as I can right now. I may always have these feelings pop up every time I do but, man, what a wonderful opportunity to experience the full spectrum of life. I don't even have to look hard to feel it. All I have to do is take a road trip. Sometimes just through memory lane. Every time I go there, I can really feel and be in the energy of me 8 years ago, 10 years ago, even 15 years ago.

By doing so I can fully embrace myself, I can fully step into who I am meant to be by honoring all of these other versions that got me here. So yes I feel all of the feelings, I let myself get right back into that moment. That moment when I decided to leave, that moment when I knew I had to. And even moments before that when I felt alone and misunderstood for so many years of my teenage life. I can look back at those versions of myself with love and I can embrace them and I can say to 16 year old Kaicee:

"Everything is going to be okay. Everything that is happening right now is leading you to this amazing version of yourself that is so wise and so limitless. These experiences you're going through right now are bringing you to where you're meant to be. Every single other version after is another stepping stone." So, thank you, teenage Kaicee, and everyone that was involved in my life at that point, for giving me the opportunity that I needed to get to exactly where I am now. Thank you to this little town that still invokes such grand feelings for me so that I can be reminded that even though I am this amazing, spiritual being I'm also going through this human experience. Thank you for the reminder, thank you for the experience. Until we meet again, whether in person or in my memory.

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