Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Remember Where You Came From

My hometown is Minneapolis, Minnesota. For most of my life, I managed to get back there about every five years. Usually, it was for a family wedding. But this year, I got back home in May for a wedding, and again this month for a high school reunion.

I could have easily passed up on one or the other event--like many people did--and blame the economy. But I didn't because after breast cancer, I realized the importance of maintaining relationships. If you've got a group of family and friends together in one place, it's important to make an effort to see them as much as you can.

And if it's back in your hometown, so much the better. Everytime I go back to Minnesota, I am reminded of the the humble and helpful nature of my people. Not that I don't like New England, my neighbors just aren't as down to earth here. When you are in a bedroom community of New York City--where making it big is the be all and end all--people learn to toot their own horn for survival.

But Minnesotans just want to make a decent living, raise good kids, and unwind up north at their cabins on the lake--which most everyone can afford. It's a different mindset. And now that I've been gone for so many years, I can appreciate the simplicity of that lifestyle so much more.

Going back to Minnesota nourishes me emotionally and spiritually. Spending time with cherished family and friends makes me feel that if I left this earth, my life has mattered and I would be missed. Just breathing the crisp, pine-scented air of the northern lake region reminds me of my idylic childhood there--which sustains my soul. Nostalgia can lighten your heart with happiness.

So whenever possible, go back home--you will leave more grounded and feel good about reconnecting with the people that knew you way back when. They are the ones that knew you and loved you before you became what you are today. Therefore, they understand the essence of who you really are--without all the smoke and mirrors. Going back to Minnesota is like slipping into an old pair of Minnetonka moccasins. You forget how good they felt walking in them until you try them on again.

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