The different ways one can travel down Route 4

We have enjoyed our stay in Vermont the past few days and are preparing to start our journey home. Everything has been great- the food, the weather, and seeing old friends. Traveling through former stomping grounds have stirred up the expected emotions of feeling nostalgic and regret. I have made numerous attempts at navigating through these moments by reminding myself of the positive choices in my life, and how exciting new opportunities are waiting for me. This works during acute moments of panic and until last night I didn’t have anything more than that. It was manageable. It was until about 9:00 pm. 

On our way into Castleton to visit my friend and her husband, we rode Route 4 while listening to the Joshua Tree. The green mountains rose up all around us, and the familiar view of Birdseye mountain and its compadres tugged at my nostalgic heart. I thought about the first time I saw them, the first moment I realized that I was going to be in this place for at least four years of my life and my happiness at the idea of being far away from Plymouth. Vermont was to be a new beginning for me. It was going to be a place where I could start over and not be the drunk girl people were ashamed to be around. Little did I know that she followed me through those mountains. 

As we went through the center of town I felt remnants of those emotions from long ago. It was like holding a fading photograph that is in bright full color when you first see it, and then it slowly fades as the memory is processed. Faded corners, vivid center. I had my entire life ahead of me in 1990 when I first came to Castleton on route 4. Entire life. So much hope for better things had replaced the feelings of being a total screw up. I could still feel that hope, faded as it was. Bittersweet. 

After a few turnarounds we finally found my friends house and enjoyed a nice afternoon sitting by the lake in their backyard. We talked about sobriety, meetings, different people we have known and what was going on in our lives. It was great seeing them and we left during a downpour thanks to a thunderstorm that decided to hang out in that area. There were moments we had no visibility which made the ride even more exciting. We pulled into Castleton and went to Birdseye (formerly known as The Jims Diner) diner for supper. 

The road back was not sunny. It was foggy, wet, and poor visibility at times which matched my insides as the car made its way up the mountain. I had to enter my info for unemployment, which brought up thoughts of “how much time do I have left? What am I going to do when it runs out? Is this User Experience class right for me and do I really think I will be able to get work after the class?” It was a tough road back, my chest felt heavy and I became quiet as the fear settled into me. Things didn’t improve when I attempted to feel better by contacting the girls to say goodnight. I ended up not talking to them and instead struggled through the immense emotional that turned me into a puddle.

I feel bad for Melissa, as she had gone downstairs to get a snack and came back to find me sobbing. Even this morning I am still in pain and snapped when she was trying to be light with me. I just feel completely lost, unsure of myself and what I feel myself gravitating towards as a career isn’t what others have in mind as a good plan. It’s a bad place for me to stay so we are going to pack up, head to Rutland, maybe make a meeting and head home. I need to get some hope because right now I can’t generate any by myself. Many years ago someone taught me how I can get hope back in my life, and I think I will follow her suggestions to get some. 

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