It’s been twelve years since I lived in Indianapolis. In 2005 I moved to Columbus, OH and stayed for ten years. I’ve lived in The Dallas/Ft.Worth area for a little over a year. Last month I turned 40 and I’m not sure if it was the stress from moving and buying a home, growing pains between my husband and I or the kids moving and having an empty nest; but I needed to be at home. I needed familiar people, places and things.
So there I was at baggage claim #4 and my luggage was the first to shoot down the hatch. Mom and her little blue Honda was right there. “You know where I wanna go, right?” WhiteCastle. We pulled up and I ran in and grabbed our sliders. Same old White Castle, same red pop, same slow service. When I got to Mom’s I realize how exhausted I was. Sometimes you are tired, other times you are completely exhausted. Over the past few months I had been anxious, up and down and walking on egg shells a lot at home. I didn’t feel comfortable or even like my home was home.
Over the next three days I slept. I ate like maybe three times, but I mostly slept, and thought. I prayed and waited. Then after I was quiet for those three days I got up. It was Mom’s birthday so I took her to dinner and tried out a new Caribbean restaurant. The food was pretty good. I was starting to feel more like myself. I ventured out the next day and walked around the local college area. The weather had finally started to get better and spring was making some noise. I ended up jumping on a city bus, my absolute favorite pastime.
The fares on the city bus had increased. There were no more transfers, only passes. Much like Dallas you can use your phone to navigate the site and to purchase tickets. I grabbed a pass and headed to The Circle Center Mall. It still had that mall smell even though many of the stores I remembered were gone and replaced by hipster spots. I went to the spa and had my brows done and ventured to find a place to eat. Since 1996 when the mall opened Johnny Rocket burger joint was my go to eatery. I loved it so much back in the day, I started working there in 1997 after my youngest was born. But it had closed and was left by an empty shell.
I found a pizza spot on Illinois St and filled up on cherry coke and a Stromboli. The sun was blinding and made for a perfect backdrop of downtown Indy. I walked the circle and hung out on the war memorial until the spring break crowd came. I sat down on a bench and just thought. I thought about my life, my beginning, middle and end. I made a mental list of my struggles, my successes, things I could and couldn’t change. After a few hours I felt a peace come over me; I was content with being home.
The next day I ventured back out by bus to the north side Glendale area. There actually used to be a mall there. So I head up the escalators in Macy’s looking for the way out onto the mall area. An employee looked at me and informed me that it was only the furniture department of Macy’s and that there was no mall. I laughed out loud, literally. I visited Target and sat in the window of Starbuck’s watching rain clouds roll in. I got back on the bus and watched the rain slide down the windows of the bus. This is home. This day reminds me of so many days coming home from work on when the kids were small and we would ride the bus home from school. I would listen to their day and plan what I was going to cook. On the ride home I thought again about change. Life changes; things can’t always go the way we want them to go. Yesterday my favorite restaurant was no longer there. The Glendale Mall is no longer a mall but two stores. The people of Indy have adapted. I need to learn to adapt. I need to learn how to deal with transition and not be negative to it and fight tooth and nail.
That evening I met with my son and his girlfriend. Our birthdays are in the same week. We are Aries Bulls through and through. We are sensitive, multi-talented, headstrong, passionate and loyal to a fault. We also can be egotistical, vindictive and hold grudges while appearing to be over it. We had a ball eating pizza and talking about their live as 20 somethings and mine as a brand new 40 year old. I can always feel love oozing out whenever I’m around my Aries brethren.
The next three days were a whirlwind of visits with family members. I spent time with my Aunt, Uncle and baby cousins. I was happy because my aunt was not feeling well so I cheered her up and had her laughing all afternoon. I got to see my brother and sister- in- love and my niece and nephews who are playing sports and getting so big and beautiful. I stayed the night with Nana which was my favorite part of the visit.( check out my Easter with Nana blog)
The best part was my birthday dinner which all of my close girlfriends came out for. They came out on a Monday night and listened to my struggles with transitions. They gave their honest loving opinions. They entertained my new I’m 40 mantras. They made me feel loved, appreciated, and it was an honor to have them with me . As I flew back to Dallas Forth Worth I felt relaxed, refreshed, rejuvenated.
I had some decisions to make and I was heading back to do so. Being in my childhood home was a good thing. I needed that time and those places. My mind is now clear and I am focused on the next steps of my life. I know what I have to do and I am prepared to start doing it. Often we have to reconnect with my past in order to fully see my future.