Friday, March 26, 2010

Wow, maybe she isn't here after all...

"When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

I am again writing early, on Thursday, for posting on Friday

A very smart man asked me a question yesterday. Now first, what makes him smart in this case 1) he asks me the questions even when I believe he already knows the answer and 2) sometimes he lets me get away with giving him a less than full answer, because he knows I will chew on it later and find my full answer.

The question he asked me related to coming back to NY again and my fears of what I would find here, about myself and about others. He asked me "You do know you have changed since you grew up there, right?".

In full honesty, my answer to him was "Yes", but it was just to end the conversation. I knew if I told him that despite all I have accomplished in my life and everwhere I have been in the last 20 years, I still believed inside I was that same person that was so bullied and abused years ago, it would become a frustrating conversation for both of us. So I gave the answer I knew was wanted.

I realized an hour ago that once again he was right and I was wrong. And the part that amazes me is that I didn't have to talk to a single person from my past to realize it. As soon as I saw the terminal at the Albany Airport I knew I wasn't the person who left here two decades ago.

The last time I was at the Albany Airport was as a pre-teen, we were dropping my father off for a flight to somewhere. This was back in the days when Braniff was still an airline and you could keep your shoes on to fly. As a child the airport was huge and so overwhelming. We did very little traveling while I was growing up (my first time on a plane was at age 16) so big planes and airports seemed so amazing to me. And flying in today, that was still what I expected, the airport I remembered from a child's eyes.

I nearly laughed out loud when we broke through the clouds and raced down the runway and I saw the terminal. It is about 1/20th the size of the Minneapolis airport. And about 1/10000th the size I remembered in my mind.

It hit me immediately that everything here that seemed so big and important and that I have let overwhelm me for 20 years is nothing more than a memory filtered through a child's view. That the view of those people who bullied and teased me decades ago no longer matter. That I have let them have a role in my life for years when they really had none. I have let them have the power over me in my adult life that that had growing up, and that that is another illusion.

I am ready to face this weekend and enjoy it, as I no longer feel like I have a mission to accomplish here, I don't need to deal with that little fat girl like I thought I did, because, she isn't here and hasn't been for a long long time. She moved on and I just never realized it.

It is time for me to embrace the amazing, accomplished adult who I am. It is time to stop worrying about trying so hard for acceptance by people who don't matter, it is time to embrace who I am today and what I have to offer the world. I am done trying to please people who don't even know me today!

In addition, I am ready for the Hudson Valley to become a place that I visit because it is where some dear friends from the past still live, to be the place I grew up, but no more.

I feel ready finally to put the past in its correct perspective...."Piece of Cake"!

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