A few weeks ago, I hopped on a plane headed to Kansas City. I left my heart there when I headed East last October and I hadn't quite been the same since.
It felt good to be back in KC, and also a bit surreal. I stayed with my friend Claudia who lives right across the street from our old house. The first morning I got there, I unloaded my suitcase from her car and just stood there in her driveway staring at it. It was my home. The American flag flying out front. The bushes I helped replace, lining the front sidewalk. That driveway. The front yard. The boys and I spent so. much. time. out there running and playing and painting. I was constantly doing activities with them and their friends. And when I wasn't playing with the kids, I was lying out in the sun reading. And when I wasn't doing that, I was standing at the edge of the drive, laughing with my friends. It's where I stretched and switched on my favorite music before heading out for nightly runs. Where I played my guitar and practiced new songs. That place manifested some of my best writing-to date. The view didn't hurt either. ;)
So much life before you even entered the front door.
Standing in Claudia's driveway later on, waiting for the school buses, I saw the new owner walk out and head up the street to check the mailbox. For a brief moment, I thought about flagging her down and asking to come in. Like lyrics out of an old Miranda Lambert song, I wanted to feel those same feelings again. If I could just walk in and watch the projector of my best memories there run through...I suppose I thought everything else after it would make sense. If I could press rewind to that moment almost 4 months ago....
You can't ever really go back though. You have to live each chapter of your life and I swear, in the moment, it feels like the most important one. That is, until you turn the page and write something new. And all of the chapters before, we carry them always. The good, the bad, the tears and laughter and lost love. We can't re-create, but we can learn from it all.
The trip was indescribable. There were laughs and lots of catching up. A little karaoke, a lot of love. So. much. love. Half of my heart stayed behind this go-round. I'm hoping it'll be okay.
I will say, it was the first and last place I felt truly rooted. I needed to go. If not simply for my sanity, then for the desire to trace my steps back into the not-so-distant past and figure out my future. I've been thinking a lot about where I belong, as of late. What makes me happy and what doesn't. What I say and what I mean. How I can be the best version of myself. If I'm totally honest, I'm still trying to figure it all out. But hell if KC wasn't a great start.