Embarking on new adventures and finding our own old footprints

Embarking on new adventures and finding our own old footprints

Sometimes when we forge new paths, we find footprints we ourselves left decades earlier.

Our family is moving back to Southern California from the serene and naturally beautiful Western edge of the mitten state. (Hold up your left hand.) I spent my childhood in Michigan, so I have a deep fondness for the lakes and the uniqueness of this state’s magnificent geography and sweet fun-loving people.

I left LA 20 years ago when my eldest was less than 2, believing that I wanted to raise my kids in the values-orientation of the Midwest rather than the maniacal superficiality of the Hollywood State. To be true, my point of view was skewed by my own untamed lifestyle in the 80’s and 90’s, and it was impossible for me to imagine any healthy upbringing for my children in that place. And if that’s how I thought back then, I was most likely right.

Twenty years later, I am now moving back to the same beaches on which I hung out for hours on end, listening to Bob Marley and playing volleyball and living a free as a bird existence as a young advertising pup. I didn’t know Steve then, but he too lived in Southern California for almost 2 decades and experienced a whole life of family, cancer, and career that would fill a book. But I won’t write that one for a few years yet.

Now we move back to California, because in all of the possibilities for new career paths, only one had the ingredients of excitement and confidence, and the evidence of God’s plan. My role at this great advertising agency with trusted friends is nothing less than miraculous. So we go. And as we motor around the South Bay, with Riley and Jack in the back seat, we marvel at the experience of driving these roads as husband and wife. We find neon footprints of our back-then lives all over town. Every day I stumble on streets, restaurants, piers and landscapes that were all backdrops for my life when I was 29. But there’s no sense of haunting, no feeling of baggage arising in me. Because I am new.

I’ve lived through the pain and joy of these last 20 years, burying loved ones who died too soon, developing a strong career, building friendships that have changed me and will last forever. I have searched for a God who was hidden by religion, and I have grown as a parent with the grace and support from a loving community. I encounter daily the grace given by Jesus, I don’t sneak cigarettes and I [mostly] know when to go home to sleep.

Now we move “back” but with new eyes and new hearts that make us smile at the sweet process of living out a life of fearless growth. We can honor the lives without believing the lies that might have crept in along the way. We have this crazy opportunity to go back and maybe even find more of our true selves that we knew back then as young dreamers, and discover the memory of a joy deep in our own heart that we didn’t know we’d ever see again.



1 Comment

  1. Miriam
    Jul 3, 2013

    Suzy, I love that because you live an examined life, these details are not lost on you! Rather you are allowing them to shape you and I am so grateful for all God is doing in and through you. Great post…again!

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