I presented my boss with a letter of resignation today. I’ve accepted a position in Baton Rouge. Of all the things I said I’d never do, I’m moving home. I moved away for college in 1979, and I’ve never lived in the Baton Rouge area since. And, I’ve never had any desire to do so …. until now. Life takes some funny twists, and at 52, I’m looking at life a lot different now. It didn’t come easy, and it wasn’t my doing, but, like Dorothy, I’ve finally decided that there’s no place like home. Damn those ruby slippers. They sure were pretty, but I had no idea of the power they held to change my world.
It’s not surprising to me that God used a man to get my attention. I’ve done a lot of work around my relationships with men, and I know the power they hold over me from the very first man in my life, Daddy. I have had a love/hate relationship with the opposite sex since I was a girl child with a crush on Bobby Sherman tempered with a lust for power and control. They were contradictory sides of my personality, and I have never been able to reconcile them. But, there is a man that came into my world awhile back bringing an attraction that blew away every sensibility that I had. And, this man came from Louisiana, my girlhood home. On paper, everything about him was not what I wanted. I remember laughing when my sponsor asked me about that. “Hell, nothing makes sense about this,” I told her. The attraction was beyond comprehension intellectually on so many counts that I just threw all my intellect out the window. I decided to let myself go and take a trip on the vortex of emotional and sexual energy that was threatening to snap all of the restraints I had. I literally decided that I had made wrong decisions with my head about men all my life, and I was going to see where this led. And, I did.
This attraction took me by surprise because it was like nothing I ever wanted. Since I had no defenses up, it pulled me in. By the time I woke up to what was happening, I was already gone …. long gone. Everything happens for a reason, and I knew there was some reason in this. Like a tornado that rips buildings from their foundations, this combination of emotional and sexual energy picked me up and ripped me away from what I had long said about going home. My beliefs that I didn’t belong there … that I couldn’t relate to people there … that I was unlovable … that there was no going back … all of those beliefs that had shackled me to a decision to never go home began to strain and buckle amid its intensity. By the time I realized that the relationship itself was not sustainable, my belief system had changed. What had previously been a solid foundation for decision-making was now a vast swath of destruction. Nature hates a void, and, in the void that remained, came a distant call of history.
This blog has been a huge part of my life in the last year. In it, I have processed feelings that had long been lingering unkempt in my soul. I have found closure on relationships that had left me with open wounds. I have made connections with people that have shared their journey with me. I have emptied myself of garbage and fed myself with compassion and love. In a sense, this blog has become a place for me to rebuild. This ripping away of my former belief system has been coming since August of last year when I started writing. I know that I am a spiritual being having a human experience, and my blog has become a spiritual practice of sorts. With each topic I’ve covered, I’ve learned to love a bit of myself. The ability to hold onto myself with an opposite sex attraction of this magnitude is growth for me …. monstrous growth. And, what I’ve learned is the lesson of the ruby slippers. I’ve always had this power within me. I just had to tap into it.
In hindsight, I believe this storm has been brewing for years. I created a Dream Book a few years ago, and its title is I’m Done with Hiding. My moving away could be considered hiding in some ways. In fact, in twelve step groups, we talk of geographical cures. They never help us escape ourselves. I don’t regret moving away because I’ve loved it, but I do think it was a way of avoiding intimacy with myself. I created an altar in my yoga space that has begun to be filled with pictures painted by my nieces and nephews, gifts from my sister and mementos from my childhood. Those items, especially when filling a sacred space, start to build a spiritual connection between me and what they represent. I have my PawPaw’s bedroom suit and with it his memory. I know that he is around me all the time. While writing my blog about my deceased cousin Mike King, I tapped into some powerful emotional connections with the people who lived through that with me. This movement within me has been building steam for years, and it finally came to a head with the events of this year and that relationship. Right now, there are more contacts in my phone from home than there are in Memphis. It didn’t happen overnight, but its happened.
What I know now is that I had walls up that prevented me from seeing home as it was. I had fears about not being good enough that kept me from being real. With all of that gone or at least stripped of as much power, I have had the freedom to really look at home a bit differently. And, in the void, I’ve begun to feel an intense pull bringing me back there. I don’t know what all of that means because I’m not done yet. But, I do know that I’m curious. And, when I’m open and curious, God starts to play with me. He’s put a really attractive job opportunity in front of me and the path has been easy to navigate. My last hurdle is to get moved and sell my house. I have to close the Memphis chapter of my life. I don’t really know what this move is all about, but I know that somehow my writing, my love and compassion for myself, my history and the people of my youth will somehow be a part of it. I’m anxious to see what gifts this next adventure will bring. I pray that it will bring passion, love, success and peace. I hope that it will really, truly bring me home.