A Letter to my Hometown
To My Lovely Hometown,
I am sorry.
I apologize for all of the years I looked at you with disdain, contempt, and frustration. I spent years planning my escape from your suburban grasp, thinking that you were the problem, but it wasn’t you at all – it was me.
I look back at the person I was when I lived here, and now I see things more clearly: I see a lost girl full of pain who desperately needed to find her voice and create her own narrative. At the time, I was afraid that you were dictating my identity – telling me who I should be – instead of allowing me to develop on my own.
Now I’m older, married and with children, and I consider myself fortunate to return to you year after year. I am lucky enough to come back to the same house I lived in for my whole childhood and to now share it with my own kids.
I’m no longer blinded by my misery. I’m finally able to look at you with respect and gratitude for all that you are, and I’m able to look at you with love.
I love your beguiling woods, your peaceful lakes, and your winding roads. I love Main Street and its landmarks, the local library, and the Town Hall with its two dollar movies. I love our ice cream shop, the Little Red Schoolhouse, and the expansive parks where I played as a child. I even love the Starbucks in the center of town.
Listen to Christie Megill read her post A Letter to My Hometown
It’s true, you are not without your flaws – no place is – but you did not deserve the self-righteous scorn I felt back then. I sat with my friends on Friday nights in parked cars, and we cursed you as the source of all of our troubles. “If only we weren’t here…” we said.
I now know that we all had our own inner demons to work through, which would have been true regardless of where we lived.
Actually, I owe you thanks for those meaningful relationships I formed with kindred spirits during my years here. Many of them remain intact all this time later. Now, we reminisce about the adventures, heartaches, and delights that connected us in our hometown.
I’m visiting you now, once again, and the memories bombard me – the good, the bad, the hurtful, the sweet. Now with a bit of wisdom, I can accept these memories with compassion, especially compassion for myself, and the past version of me.
I know that you have changed as well. Tragedy has struck here, and it would have been all too easy for the town to crumble under its grief. Instead, recent years have seen citizens both present and previous come together in immense town pride and community recovery to nurture what is so special here. This town has meaning for many. It matters.
You give me a sense of place in this world – a sense of where I have been and where I am going. I’ve made major life choices in relation to you, and with your guidance, I know how I want to live my life. Because of the people I’ve known here, I know what integrity looks like, and I know when it’s absent.
I am connected to you, and I’m learning that I’ve kept your good parts within me as I’ve grown.
Thank you, Newtown, CT. Because of you, I am who I am today.
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This post was written by Christie Megill exclusively for BonBon Break Media, LLC.
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