Last weekend I traveled back to the DC/MD/VA area for my yearly pilgrimage to DCLX; a swing dance event that happens every April. I grew up in the area and usually set aside some time to go visit the old neighborhood that I lived in for 18 years prior to moving to California.
My planned escape from Maryland was no secret to anyone who knew me growing up as I had pretty much decided by the age of 12 to leave directly after high school. That gave everyone a 6 year buffer to get used to the idea of me moving, and generally speaking I had little trouble adjusting to life 3000 miles away from where I was raised. However even though it’s been 21 years since I last lived in Maryland there are still places that haunt me when I return. Inevitably I’ll be driving down a street, one that I had driven on numerous times in my youth, and I will be overcome with waves of memories all hitting me at once, sort of like a movie where there’s a chaotic montage of images flashing through my head. Then the wondering of how my life would have turned out had I stayed and what was it that so deeply pushed me away from the area and to Los Angeles. Sometimes I think I never had “closure” with my old self and this is why I tend to get heavily emotional when I’m back there. Or perhaps it’s just sense memory causing me to be so reflective.
Whatever the reason for my melancholy I will probably never fully know, but I remind myself that I am who I am today due to my experiences and I love the life I have created here in Los Angeles.
You can take the girl out of Maryland but you can’t take Maryland out of the girl.