From the minute I got off of the plane I felt a peaceful presence over me. I don't know if it was Jersey welcoming me home or God preparing me for what I would find out while I was there. Maybe it was both.
As I laid my head on the pillow that night I was excited and looked forward to seeing NYC, old friends, and family but I never knew that when I opened my eyes the next day I would have some real awakenings during the next week to come.
While I was there I never laughed so hard with Liz and John. It was like being in high school around their house. The sarcasm level was at about 110% and nothing was held back. As we listened to music and danced it was like a comedy show! One old school song was better than the next. OMG I literally lost my breath a few times from laughing... it was great!
Seeing friends that I knew since 7th grade was mind blowing. If you asked me if I would be talking to these people all these years later I would have probably said no. Not for any other reason but life moves on after high school right? Wrong. Danielle and me weren't exactly bff's in high school, but she ended up being in my wedding. 18 years later she can set me straight like any Jersey friend can! She picks me up when I am down, makes me laugh at stupid words that you only hear in a Jersey girls' vocabulary, and when I need advice she gives it to me straight and honest... And J "heart" J (my nickname from her) always gives the love back!
I went to a cemetery of friend that died too soon of an illness. It's funny we had also been friends since 7th grade but Jim was extra special to me because he was my school girl crush, that ended up as my boyfriend in middle school, that also ended up as one of the best friends a girl could have. He always treated me as an angel and stood up for me when I needed it. I can still see his smile and those mirrored orange sunglasses driving his restored hot rod up to me and saying "Come on get in!" He went into the Navy and I was crushed but he always found a way to get in touch with me for a quick call that made my day. Years after that and before he died we talked. He knew he was dying but promised me not to tell anyone. I cried so much because he was one of the worlds good guys & this wasn't fair. He made me promise that when he died that I wouldn't come see him, I didn't keep that promise last Monday because I went to find him. I drove around and looked every where but I couldn't find his plot and there was no office. I sat there for an hour trying to see if there was any info online that would help me ..but nothing. I drove around some more but this time I started to talk to Jim out loud hoping he would hear me. "Jim come on! I know you said not to come but I'm here and I need to see you." Nothing. "Jim, come on it's not funny. Why are you doing this to me?" And then finally "You really don't want me to find you, do you? God Jim.. Fine. You win!" I was so disappointed but he alway said not to come and I guess he had the last word again this time!
On one of my days I decided to just drive. It was a free day I had in the week, and it literally ended up to be that. I drove around my old neighborhoods listening to music and stopping at some of my favorite places. The high school, my favorite bagel place I used to eat at every day, and even my 2 old houses that were towns away from each other that I was raised in. They looked so different, but it seemed like yesterday that I was there inside.
As the week came to an end it was time to go and return my urental car, but there was one more surprise for me as I ended my night. As I drove up to return my car to the parking lot of a hotel I noticed that it was the same hotel that I had both my junior and senior proms at (along with some others from going with upperclass friends). I had to walk in and check it out. OMG what a blast from the past.. I opened the ballroom doors and it looked exactly the same inside!! I swear I might have even heard the music playing and seen my friends dancing and having a great time in a flashback moment.
Later that evening, on my last night, I laid there under the covers watching the snow fall and began to think. This trip was everything and more that I needed. Some disappointments happened, some really great laughs and memories were made, and maybe one or two things I wish had happened didn't, but were understandable.
It made me think about Jen. How my friends that I have now think I am, how old friends remember me, and who I really am inside... The real Jen.
I looked back at some of my favorite pictures of me as a kid, in high school, and as an adult now. I've realized that I've always been the same girl inside but lately she had been toned down and tucked away but it was time that she came back out to enjoy life.
I missed laughing so hard that my ribs hurt. I missed being able to put myself first and making myself happy. I missed peace and quiet, the kind where you just lay there and you hear birds chirping not the day's arguments in my head. I missed small talk, laying on the bed with no where to go, and just being able to get a good nights sleep.
Missing all of that made me find Jen again. The loving, caring, easy going, adventurous, giving, and even smart ass that I am.
Jen is the person that puts you first before herself, not because it's the right thing to do but because it makes her happy. She will go to the ends of the earth to try and make you happy.
Jen is the dreamer, the wisher, and the pray-er. I hate negativity. Yes, sometimes I do sugar coat things but it's only because if you believe in something with all your sole and it was meant to be then it will be. Do fair tales come true? For some.
Jen is a lover. There are so many degrees of love. Love for my closest friends that continue to stand by me through thick and thin. Love for my family. Then the love I have for things I am passionate about like running.
I absolutely LOVE each and every one of these people!!
Jen puts her heart and soul on the line and all she ever asks for is honesty and the truth. After all, I am a Virgo.
Jen is a bad decision maker and sometimes yes I can be over analytical
Jen hates to argue. Nothing more bugs me than picking a fight or letting things go unsettled.
Jen is sarcastic. I've always been able to "hang with the boys" but yes I admit to someone who is not sarcastic and can't take the heat I can come across harsh.
Jen is a party girl. So the more the merrier should just be known with me... plain and simple.
Jen LOVES to laugh and smile. If I was able to pick only one quality in a person to have.. It would be to make me laugh.
And the most important thing about Jen is the hardest.... When I say "I'm ok!" or "It's ok" I'm usually not. It usually just means I am pulling up my big girl panties and trying to move on or forget what just happened. It's not a lie... It's just how I deal.
Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought to yourself... Do I know the person starring back at me? If not, where did they go and how can you get them back?