good morning, hampton. how have you been?

This morning the stars aligned for me as I was appreciative of the opportunity to see a friend from the past…and then another.  It was the perfect way to start off my day back in Hampton (Pittsburgh, PA)-my hometown.  Within ten minutes I had reconnected with two important people from my life back in Hampton.  Two people who I haven’t seen in 6 and 8 years, respectively.

The first was Kellen, a friend since middle school, who is the hardest working person I know and a very proud & excited husband and expecting father!  Seeing him this way made me so happy and proud of the person he’s become.  Talking to him I realized just how much we’ve both grown.  While I can still talk to him like I just saw him at a basketball game last night, the topics of conversation reveal that we’re not in high school anymore.  Still it was nice to connect with an old friend and remember that some things never change.

Moments after, my mom spotted one of my favorite people- Hampton’s athletic trainer, Lynn.  As I walked over to hear I was worried that she would remember me, but the big smile of recognition on her face said otherwise.  Words cannot express how great it felt to see her!  Lynn was not only a confidante and supporter for me as an athlete, but she was truly a dear friend of mine and helped me deal with the daily struggles of being a teenager at Hampton High School.  I knew I missed her and think about her quite often, but it wasn’t until today that I fully realize how special she is to me.  Lynn is truly someone who was meant to be a part of my life and one that I’ll never forget!

Every time I come back home, which isn’t too often now that I’m living in Chicago, I fight off contradicting thoughts and daydreams: Could I live here again?  I will never live here again?  What if I live here again; what would it be like? 

I can already tell that the next week is going to be a bit of an emotional roller coaster with many trips down memory lane…at least I’ll be at the beach!

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