I still live in the town I grew up in.

Well, actually, I did move a couple of towns over for a very short time but, I ended up coming back and planting my roots here, if you will.

Some people may find this odd. I know many of my childhood friends have moved away.  Maybe they feel on to bigger and better things.

I find comfort in living in the town where I grew up.

I still get my prescriptions in the same pharmacy where I used to buy my Love’s Baby Soft and Bonne Belle strawberry lip gloss.

I still get birthday cakes for my family at the same Carvel where my mom got mine when I was a child.

Until just a week or two ago, I still went to see movies at the same theatre where I went on some of my first dates and shared some of those first exciting and awkward kisses.

I have the same family doctor that I have had since I was a teenager.  Until a couple of years ago, I saw the same dentist that used to put on fake glasses with the fake nose before giving me sweet air, in order to make me laugh and not think about the pain that was coming.

I drive approximately two minutes to my childhood home to visit my mother.  My children play downstairs, where my friends and I exchanged dreams, plans and hopes for the future.. Where we comforted each other through break ups, picked each other up after disappointments and sang Michael Jackson, Madonna and Prince songs at the top of our lungs.

Jill’s parents also still live across the street from my parents. She is my oldest and best friend. When I am walking to my car after leaving my mom’s, I can almost hear her yelling “see you tomorrow” from her door, as she watched me run from her house to mine late at night.

I am still in touch with many of my friends from childhood, junior high and high school. I feel blessed about this. For everything I’ve gone through, there is a comfort in having relationships that have lasted so many years. It’s a comfort that these people have known me for so long and knowing that despite what I have gone through, and despite all of the ways I have changed, they still love me. It makes me feel worthy. It makes me feel safe.  It makes me happy.

When I am hurting, or worried, or just having a bad day, I try and conjure up a memory from an easier time; playing kick the can, sharing secrets with Jill during our sleepovers, taking swimming lessons with Vincent at Crab Meadow, twirling my baton in the Memorial Day Parade, proudly wearing my bubble gum corsages, made by my girlfriends, to school on my birthday, getting my ankle bracelet from Randy, falling in love for the very first time, going to house parties, Robert Moses and concerts at the Coliseum. Applying for, and being accepted to, college, meeting my future husband…

All of these things happened here. There are memories around every corner for me. These happy memories have helped me to get through some pretty rough times.

I’m glad I still live here. It has had a big hand in my mental and emotional recovery.

If you don’t live where you grow up, be sure and go back and visit. Relive and remember the good times.

It helps the bad ones get fuzzy around the edges.