You can always go home again…(From October Frederick New-Post Column)

They say you can never go home again. I don’t who “they” are, but I can prove them wrong.

I moved away from Frederick roughly sixteen years ago. With each trip back, I’ve seen so many changes, from the stores and restaurants on Market Street that have opened, to high schools likeLinganore that have been built from scratch to match the growing population, to the highways and exits that are growing and changing daily. On each trip, I’ve been amazed at the significant differences that are shaping this beautiful city. This city that I call home.

The term “coming home” has a different meaning for everyone. You come home to see your family, for the holidays, for a celebration or sometimes because you just have to. You reach out to friends from your past and spend time with family, sucking in their love and energy to help fill you up before you go back out into your own world. At least, that’s what I do.

My last two trips back home I’ve been more than blessed. In July, I was able to come home for my twentieth high school reunion. Seeing people I had not seen since I had graduated and spending time with friends old and new, we picked up like it was just yesterday. That showed me the power of friendship – and the internet!

Thanks to websites like Facebook, many of us have been able to watch the progress over the past few years of our classmates, see the families many of our friends have created now, as well as experiencing highs and lows together.

During my second trip, the one I am just returning from, more “reunion” stars aligned. Several folks I had worked with during my days on Market Street at Donnelly’s (pre-Firestone’s for those that don’t know) happened to come in for a visit as well. To say these two trips were mind-blowing is an understatement.

Change and growth are the two words I thought of when I sat with old friends over the last few months and caught up. Seeing how some had taken charge of their lives and are going on to create their place in the world was heart-warming. We shared our adventures; whether they were affairs of the heart (I had PLENTY of those!) or trips abroad, there was lots of catching up.

The common thread here? We were all home. Yes, we have places that we fly or drive back to where we have our residences or our families and pets…But to all of us? Frederick is home. We grew up here, physically, preparing to go out in the world to grow up mentally. Sitting with people that can say “we knew each other when” is the best feeling in the world. And to still be able to have common interest with them or to find yourself cheering along with them as they climb higher with their goals or take small steps in their own lives makes me happy. I guess it’s just the little things.

Yes, we can get together and laugh with our friends at ourselves. No matter who we are now and what we did then, we are remembered. We are loved and we can hold one another dear and close as long as we are able, or as long we’re supposed to. Good friends are truly hard to find, and I’m seeing that I’m surrounded by many good friends on both coasts.

I’d like to ban the phrase, “you can never go home again”. Because, I can. I can come home again and again. I’ll always find the love, friendship and strength that we all need at some point to fill our souls up to go out there and attack the world – or at least attempt our own mini-takeover.

So, my advice to the person that coined the phrase? Think of a new saying, because Anne Kemp has proven you wrong.

 

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