It’s clear that Traverse City has beauty, charm, and so much to offer.
Since moving home last Tuesday, I have loved strolling the streets, revisiting my favorite spots, and snapping photos of the new art.
But the best part about being home are the relationships I have been able to have once again.
I had no idea how much my friends cared over the years- and how worried they were about me as I bounced from city to city. They knew I hid my loneliness. They were concerned about my alcoholism. They were sad to learn I spent holidays by myself.
I didn’t even realize I was missed- but now I do.
I’ve had some of the most priceless experiences with old friends this past week, meaningful conversations, and re-connection with people I have known since I was 12 years old. I have filled my calendar with coffee and lunch dates, received hilarious Marco Polo videos from one of my best friends navigating motherhood, and have bumped into former coworkers. Wanting to help me in any way they can, I have felt more love this past week than I have in years.
These are the people who knew me before I thought I had to put on a mask.
My mask of strength was a tool to keep me safe from the world- and to keep me from getting hurt.
Today, I finally know who I am- and that I don’t have to hide from good friends. I don’t have to hide who I am here in Traverse City- I can simply be me.
Taking a deep breath of relief, I am beyond grateful I could fly home and show my face- and what is in my heart.