Thursday, July 27, 2006

return flight

Thinking about Houston and my reluctance to visit. One week from tomorrow I will be on a plane headed back. I know it is something that needs to be done, will tie up loose ends, and will leave me feeling as if there has been forward motion. Still, I am reluctant. When I left it behind, watching it fade into the distance in the rearview mirror, I was thrilled to be moving on - starting a new life in a new place. I could glance as the city passed by, knowing that I could shake the dust from my boots and walk a new walk.

As I plan this trip, I realize that I must look Houston and all it means right in the face. Deal with unresolved issues and confront the fears I have about myself and my own weaknesses. This doesn't sound like fun. I wish I were going to visit friends, see my kids and laugh a lot. But this is business. How will I stand up to it? Will I find the strong voice that I know is inside of me?

I have been practicing. I have been speaking my truth. For the last year I have been *VERY BRAVE*. But it's as if Houston brings out the weakness, and reminds me of all that I did not do, did not say. When I look at all the stuff, I realize that I am really the angriest at me, for living a life that was not okay. For not standing up for myself. And I look at this trip as an opportunity to undo all of that - well, maybe not undo, but to make it better. To do what I couldn't in the past, and to stick up for myself.

Ann has agreed to stand with me. Her presence will, I hope, give me courage.

I was thinking about what Roger said last weekend, that I had the balls of an elephant. I'm sure he was talking about my move to South Dakota, and being able to be fearless about the future. He would be surprised to see this other side of me. The side that has no balls at all. The side that quivers at the thought of confronting this past of mine. I'm thinking that it would be a good thing to write his words down on a sheet of paper to take with me to the "meeting." So that I will smile and see myself as a courageous - but gentle - giantess. This picture will help. Maybe I should draw her. She will be beautiful and strong, and her mouth will be open. (She is never afraid to speak.) And perhaps she should wear a tiara.

I wonder how many times I will return to Houston, and if my visits will always inspire these fears, or if instead, one day I can look this city straight in the face and forget. Will I be able to return with excitement of seeing friends and family? To remember the joys that I experienced there? My hope is that one day I will feel Houston's heat and humidity as I disembark from an airplane, and feel bittersweet about my journey there, my extended stay, and the life I made for myself there.

I will make my reservation today...and will do it with the intention of creating a good visit - a productive visit. But I will be glad to get on the plane and come home at the end to the new life I've made here in the SLRH on 14th St.

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