Dear Colorado Springs

Hey you, it’s been awhile.

Seven years since I was forced back. Three years give or take since I chose to come home once again. Yeah, you heard that right, I called you home.

I know, we’ve not always had the most positive relationship, but this is what you have become to me. You are home.

You are my high school memories and leaving for college. You are prom and graduation and crushes. You are hope and joy and family. You are all the things I swore you would never be.

You’ve chipped away at my frigid heart the last 10 years. Always allowing me space to be exactly what I needed when I needed it. You held me safely after job lay-offs and broken hearts and scary health issues and loss. You were the parachute attached, always waiting to slow me down if I started falling too hard or too fast.

it’s been ten years on this pavement
and i finally caught a dream
if i’m honest it’s a terrifying thing

Colorado Springs, I have loved you the past three years. I have changed more since I came home than probably at any other point. I have found myself because you helped show me who I am, who I want to be, who I’m not. I’ve found myself because I lost myself when I found you.

So when that cold day in December came around and I found myself acknowledging that I had outgrown my time with you, I felt a tinge of sadness. I didn’t want to outgrow your familiar roads and well worn paths. I didn’t want to find a new grocery store and route to work and understanding of where I’m going. I didn’t want to run away from you. Which is when I knew I was ready to leave.

chase me down outside of Georgia
i was sure i was done
something in me would not turn around and run

You see dear one, you allowed me to start as a baby seed in a tiny little planter. You gave me the protection to grow strong roots, solid, firm, ready to be transplanted to the garden soil. Three years ago, two years ago, even one year ago, I was not ready to be left on my own in a new place. But then that one day, I realized I was ready. That my roots were touching the side and it was time to move so they could continue to grow and deepen and become stronger.

But you did that. Which is why you will always be home.

I will never forget the house where I had my first kiss. I will never forget the first date jitters and the wind sweeping my hair as I walked away. I will never forget the porch we sat on and talked long into the night. I will never forget Christmas at the Broadmoor when he danced with me in an empty ballroom. I will never forget learning how to love the things that broke my heart after he left. I will never forget racing across town to be there when multiple babies have been born.

I will never forget letting my heart cautiously fall in love again throughout that spring and summer. I will never forget showing him my city and my home and my people. Beaming with pride as I declared isn’t it lovely?  I will never forget the nights I spent next to the fireplace talking about life and love and Jesus when he was 1000 miles away. I will never forget my first kiss with him in my apartment. I will never forget returning home to that apartment after a long trip, sobbing on my bed after he broke my heart.

i’ve been scared to death of failing
scared that i’d look like a fool
i’d rather quit than risk that I could lose

I will never forget finding hives and my health suddenly being taken away from me. I will never forget the fear and the panic and the breakdown. I will never forget the healing and the promise and the hope that came after it.

I will never forget the in-betweens who ended up being nothing more than a distraction or lessons learned.

I will never forget seeing community and grace and depth and sacrifice. I will never forget the way my people rallied around me after heartbreaks and sickness and hard days. I will never forget experiencing life like I never had.

I will never forget the last minute happy hours or the texts from my mom to come have dinner or a surprise visit from my brother. I will never forget how much I have laughed and enjoyed life. I will never forget the beautiful things that were cultivated and brought out by amazing men and women who saw my heart and what it could be.

And yet, I’m ready not to see things and think of the hims. I’m ready to have first dates and falling in love with a city that is nothing to me. I’m ready to not drive by a house and know what conversations happened there or remember the sinking in my stomach at the two men who are no longer in my life. I’m ready not to wonder if I will bump in to people I don’t care to see while I’m in sweats and a topknot.

i’m not proud of that position
it’s the hand that I’ve been dealt
as far as i’m concerned
that hand can go to hell

I’m ready to love this place from a distance. I’m ready to say see ya later. Knowing that I will always come back and always love you.

heard the Lord in California
and i remembered who i was
i learned to dance with the fear that i’d been running from

Thank you for changing me and loving me and growing me. Thank you for keeping me safe. Thank you for giving me exactly what I needed. Thank you for taking off the old and leaving the new. Because I am… I’m leaving this city, brand new.

all my love,

Rach

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