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I’ve had a blog post ruminating around in my mind ever since I saw this picture. Of course, you would think it might be describing the loss an ex-lover. In my case, however, it is just about everything.

For about a year, I’ve had what Hoss and I call the little burning in my chest. And I would call him up, and I would say “It’s burning”. As I was trying to release someone I loved, I assumed the burning was because I just couldn’t get over it. I assumed that I would never ever be able to love again. The little burning would come up, I would call Hoss, and he would say “Hello little burning what are you trying to teach me?”

It went like this for a little while. And then this summer when my nephew died, it came back. Of course I also assumed it was grief. Grief about leaving my hometown, and grief about losing him. In the last few weeks it was starting to come faster and faster. The insomnia I had was significant and the depression was increasing.

I went to the lab and finally did my blood work. Just so you know, I called my mother to tell her the results that came back, and her response was “You know, you don’t need to write about this”. I love my mother, but her era is different than mine. If this helps anyone, I feel I must write it.

In the 80s, I was a fertility patient. When I was pregnant with my second son, I had PICA, a disorder where women eat rocks when they’re pregnant …or gravel or sand. In my case, one night I went out to my tire and tried to cut a piece off of the rubber to chew it. For the rest of the pregnancy I ate pencil topper erasers like they were going out of style. My doctor even remarked that she tried to go to OfficeMax to get some, and she said, “Linda they’re all out.” Of course, my husband had gone and cleaned them all out earlier in the day. So I’ve had these really odd situations with my lady bits. This week, when I thought I just couldn’t take it anymore, and I was going to call the suicide hotline in the middle of the night (not because I was suicidal, but because I had insomnia and I knew they were up LOL), I was prompted to follow up on the blood work.

It did in fact indicate that I am in menopause. Full-blown. I nearly hugged the doctor, because I thought I was going crazy. So she put me on the progesterone and the estrogen and explained my symptoms as they lineup with this particular phase of life. In just two days my life has changed.

That’s just sort of the background of where I’m going with this post. Of course, I love a man who I am not with. Or is it love, I don’t know. I know that my symptomology had an impact on my relationship the last time we got together. I had the burning all the time, and I just didn’t have any fight left in me. But even this post. It isn’t about him.

This picture …It turns out, that it’s about my hometown of 20 years: Ripon.

I came here tonight to drop off my son for a youth group church activity. It turns out since I’ve moved to Modesto, I’m in Ripon a lot more. My sons’ sports are here, all of their activities are here, and I don’t mind really driving them back-and-forth. It’s all part of the deal. I committed this whole year to miss nothing. A few years ago, I was going to Fresno every other weekend, and every other weekend I missed one of their sports.

I was running in Ripon tonight, because I had 2 hours to kill. A slowish almost 4 miles. Very slowish. I made my way to Vermeulen Park; it was eerily quiet. I forgot my headphones, so my iPhone was just playing music from my fuel belt. I turn the corner and started coming down by Spring Creek, and I completely misjudged the turn. It was like I had never run in this town before it all. As I came up over the overpass,I noticed that it felt like I was running on new ground.

I turned up Main Street, and there I saw what used to be Twyla’s, that was a physical therapist, and a gym, and a then became a massage place. It’s now a market. I looked at the Urgent Care that is now gone. Each of the corner shops that have been a nail shop or a craft store or a clothing place. All changed hands. I ran by Pizza Plus to see the Giants and the Cardinals tied at three. It was super quiet – one man sitting there watching. I ran all the way down the street, and nothing looked the same. I hardly recognized this town at all.

As I was turning up to go over the overpass again, I realized that when I live in a town, I completely live there. I know every step of the way, every tree, every monument sign. And when I came back tonight to run it’s like everything is changed. That old adage “You can’t go home again” is really true.

I suppose it’s really the theme of this post. You can’t go home again. Sweet relationships with beautiful friends die. Someone that you love you will just have to get used to not loving. Towns that you lived in for 20 years? Well. You don’t live in them anymore. Bodies that used to work a certain way, now need supplements to function properly.

I’m not sure why this is so significant tonight, except that I’ve been wanting to blog about this for a little while, and it really didn’t hit me until I came here tonight. I don’t live here anymore.

I’ve never been the maudlin type, although when I drink I always cried at the bar and wished for the good old days… (I was 20). But ever since I’ve moved, I simply don’t come back. I’m called today to look for the people that are in my life.

A woman recently started messaging me with really wonderful quotes in the morning. At first I was like “Thanks, but I have enough friends right now” then I was in a meeting, and I looked across at her and she waved at me and smiled…and I got this sort of warm feeling come over me. I went right home and messaged her saying, “I’m sorry, please keep sending those messages they’re really sweet.” I look forward to her messages in the morning.

And this is how it goes. I am simply to love the people that are in my life today. My kids, my dog, my neighbors. My mom, and this wonderful pastor at church today. Friends texting me to meet for dinner or coffee. My sisters.

I’m reading a lot of Abraham Hicks right now. I’m practicing releasing the resistance and therefore allowing whatever is to be happening to happen. I’m finding much peace there, not living with regrets, and simply moving along.

My next topic for the blog is going to be something so radically different. Starting next week I have a new job. I’ll get into all the details then, but for today. I’m still a therapist and I’m still in the rehab and I’m still very happy.

My mom wants me to keep this to myself, but I can’t help but shout it from the rooftops. There’s a reason that I had anxiety and depression. There’s a reason that I wanted to jump out a window and couldn’t sleep all night. And it was simply taking care of myself getting to the doctor, and getting on the right hormonal balance. I’m super grateful for this.

I used to know my body. I used to know where I live. I used to know you. But I don’t anymore, and it’s exactly as it should be, right in this moment.

Onward.

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