It’s funny how sometimes places almost become like people, taking on characteristics that are so much more than the roads, buildings, parks or other things that literally make them up.

Today I went back to where I was living when my world crashed down around me just a few weeks ago. I had to pack up my things and pick up some mail.

I was honestly looking forward to it in a way. I don’t at all mind the two hour drive, and I was looking forward to having a productive day and closing some loose ends.

But it was really hard.

I lived in Milwaukee for three and a half years. Up until the end, it was a place that signified growth for me… growth and letting go, accepting the past while distancing myself from it, becoming liberated and strong, becoming ME.

And when I would go back to my hometown to visit, I would feel all the old ghosts coming back to haunt me… and I could never stay very long. I would rush back to Milwaukee and feel relieved. I would feel home.

As I was leaving Milwaukee tonight, I couldn’t wait to get out of there. It reminded me of all that I have left behind, still with no apparent reason… none that I have figured out yet anyway. My amazing roommates, my fulfilling job, my school where I was excited to learn… my friends. Milwaukee is now a stark reminder of how far and how quickly I fell. No one pushed me. In a sense, I guess I jumped. I just don’t know why.

And on the flipside, my hometown is now a place of comfort… still full of ghosts maybe, but I’m learning to be friends with them.

Sadness gripped my heart as I left Milwaukee tonight. I think it’s okay though… it’s a normal thing to feel, and I need to feel it before I can accept what has happened and is happening. The break from Milwaukee was very sudden. I was admitted into the hospital for almost a week and then came here…so my life in Milwaukee almost seemed a dream. I think it was good for me to have to be back there for a day and connect the two different realities.

I just hope that it can become a place of hope for me again.

I can’t believe how much I’ve given up… thrown away.

Are there places that symbolize something significant in your life?