Welcome Back, Kotter (Steph)!

Welcome back, my dreams were my ticket out…I left Boston over 20 years ago and built a new life with my young family. I lived on both coasts until settling in Atlanta where my husband built his business while I made the land where the peaches grow our home. As I think about what it is I want to convey to all of you, I am flooded with emotion. I left the warm cocoon of my family where I am loved unconditionally, never judged and most importantly woke to the smell of meatballs frying every Sunday.

My besties are just an extension of my family. We have been going out dancing since the CYO days when Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” was a new release. We had each other’s back. We were like glue. We always had the crack up. We were all raised very similarly, and their mothers fried meatballs on Sunday morning too. It was the days of carefree fun.

As I raised my family, I lost the sense of closeness I felt with all my homies, including my family. You just get caught up in living the day-to-day grind. When I did go home, I loved the get togethers, but something was missing, ME. Where did I go? I was wrapped up in the new life I made and emotionally left everyone else behind. I didn’t realize the empty place in my heart was the real void of the familiarity of family and the friends with whom I had been raised.

Of course, I would never regret moving. I had to step out of my comfort zone to create a life in the south. I had to grow and change, which may have not occurred if I stayed in Boston. Looking back, I would have liked to been more involved with my girlfriends as they had their babies. I would have enjoyed them really getting to know my kids. In fact, I needed them and my family for support when I thought I had to be alone, because physically, I was alone.

Now that my kids are a bit older, I can take a weekend here and there and come to Boston to reconnect. Every summer I spend a week or two in Maine with my besties and our kids. These are memories I will take to the grave. I cherish every moment I get with my family and friends from Boston. More recently, I have even reconnected with other high school friends who are so wonderful! I was too wrapped up in my own lack of self-esteem to go out of my shell to reach out to these beautiful people when I was a student.

This weekend, I came back to Boston for a Disco Bash/reunion hosted by an old friend. Of course, my besties were right there with me dancing to the sounds of the 70’s and 80’s under the disco ball. I met up with so many old friends, people I don’t remember not knowing. I spent time with my high school friends, an afternoon with my aunt and breakfast with my best girl, Dana. My sister even poked her head out for a bit.

Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other, gold. I’ll say my old friends are platinum, gems to be cherished. I miss them dearly, but know I will never let go of the life and memories we hold together. You know, I have always had the ruby slippers on: “There’s no place like home!”

Tell me what’s going on in your life. I want to hear from you!

Wishing you love, balance and peace!
Amore & Baci,
Just Steph

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