Last week, I got back from spending twelve days in my happiest of all places: Alaska. I stated before I left that Alaska has a way of getting into your soul, and it couldn’t be more true. I’ve visited three times since moving away, and I feel like every time I’ve left, I’ve also left a bit of me there. I think part of it (for me) is also that being born and adopted there means that there’s still some connection waiting for me there. When you spend your entire life feeling like there’s part of you missing because you know next to nothing about your biological history, there’s a tendency to cling to whatever connection you do know of. For me, that’s Alaska. That’s the hospital I was born in, the apartment my biological mother lived in, the lives that my other family members created for themselves up there. There are unknown places and faces left for me to uncover and just being in the same area code soothes that wondering a bit more.
I digress. These are the thoughts and emotions that are constantly milling around in my mind. Today was meant to be lighthearted- an overview of my time up there.
I had a list of about ten things and people I wanted to see while I was up there for this visit. Due to some transportation issues, a few of those places I wanted to visit had to be put off until my next visit. I did get to catch up with several more old friends that I originally had anticipated, so that was a nice surprise. However, one of the most exciting days has to be the day that I got to see my old house. I had already gotten to wander around my elementary school where I spent far more time in than necessary thanks to being the daughter of a teacher, so the day had already been completely successful. I have this (not so secret anymore) dream of getting to live in the house I was raised in, so the friend I was with agreed to drive me by the house. We pulled up next to the front yard and sat idling on the side of the street while I pointed out several different parts visible from the outside. We must have looked a little suspicious, because the man who lived there came out to check who we were. I jumped out of the car, explained what we were doing, and soon we were getting invited into the house to look around! This surpassed anything I thought would happen, and I was overjoyed to see that everything was exactly as I remembered. I didn’t make it upstairs to see my old room and the addition that my mom designed because the stairs were torn up due to a remodel, but even seeing part of the house was a dream come true.
While I was there, I also got to catch up with several friends from elementary school and a couple friends from the church I went to in Anchorage. The friend I was staying with took me out to the zoo, which had completely grown and expanded, and we did some outdoor exploration surrounded by views that no camera can truly capture. I caught myself thinking at least twice daily that if I had the opportunity, I would move back there in a heartbeat. There truly is nothing better than getting the chance to live in Alaska.
listening to: The Civil Wars