You’re embarking on a yearlong round-the-world adventure, and can take only one small object with you to remind you of home. What do you bring along for the trip?
Perfect timing for this as I will need to seriously start thinking about this sort of thing very soon. The first thing that comes to mind is my first boyfriend and that first awkward kiss followed soon by the heartache of him dumping me because his parents didn’t approve of our interracial relationship.
I was 14 and I was devastated.
As a freshman who’d just entered high school I wasn’t quite comfortable with sharing my problems with the high school guidance counselor. So – like the unusual little girl that I was – I went back to middle school and sought the counsel of my middle school advisor.
She was very understanding and sweet and very patient with my tears and my inability to “understand why my color was such a problem for his parents.” She couldn’t very well be 100% honest with me. But she tried her best.
Then she gave me this:
She just took it right off her wall and told me to read it aloud whenever I was missing my ex and feeling overwhelmed with emotions. She told me that there was truth in that quote.
I believed her. Because at the time I wanted my first boyfriend back more than anything in the world. Despite the fact that he’d already begun dating one of my best girlfriends at the time. It was the first time I remember truly feeling betrayed by the people who were supposed to care about me. Looking back, I totally remember that my first boyfriend had liked my best friend before he even met me so I guess it makes sense that he would go after her again but at that time it was all too much to deal with. I just wanted everything to go back to that first kiss when everything was perfect and we were together. So I cherished this quote and told myself that one day we would find our way back to each other.
We never did.
It took a long time for me to recover from that broken heart. I was young. He was my first love and there was racism involved. But when I finally started to heal and the crying days became fewer and farther between and that friendship with those people dissipated I always thought about my 8th grade guidance counselor and appreciated the gift she gave me right off the wall of her office.
I’ve kept it ever since. All through high school. Then it came with me to New York for college. Then to Boston where I worked at the camp from Hell. Then to LA for musical theatre school. It’s been with me for a long time.
And so, of course, when I embark on yet another journey away from home I will take it with me.
As a reminder of home and the people I hope to find my way back to.
Daily Prompt: An Ounce of Home