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It’s funny how places shape you.

It’s a collection of memories that piece together the majority of my youth.

A baptist church that consumed all of my time and energy, where I tried to please a god and people who called me Jezebel. A community theatre where I explored what it felt to be out of my own skin for just a little while, to be someone else and escape. A farm, a cult, shitty apartment after shitty apartment, and all for what?

Mostly, you feel like a place that suffocated the person I wanted to become and made her feel like an impossible truth. But you were wrong.

How do we feel nostalgia for such places?

But there was also soft rain on the front porch amidst old cedar trees. Having the cafe for however short a time and knowing I had a place in the community where I belonged. Hiding in the sanctuary in the middle of the night when I had no where else to go and taking solace there. Cinnamon rolls I still dream about.

It was never home. But it is the town that built me, and I can make my peace with that.