Dear Anxiety,

Here’s the deal about this weekend in Ohio: you are not invited.

I am returning to my hometown, the city where Robb and I were engaged, got married, where we shared our first apartment and bought our first home.

I will see my aunts, uncles, and cousins, and I can’t possibly tell you what they mean to me. Except to say that I don’t want to introduce you to them.

I will host a high school reunion, from the classes of 1994 – 2000. Or likely, since my parents’ friends and some of their grandchildren are coming, and we all delight in the orange and black of our Green as well in the commonality of our alma mater, it’s more likely a reunion from the classes of 1972 to the present.

I will see people I’ve known since kindergarten.
I will see people with whom I have traveled the world, slept in tents, and shaved my legs in sulfur water.
I will see people who remember our marching band routines for The Final Countdown and Hey Jude. People with whom I marched in polyester and commanded in orange sequins. (Let’s take a moment for the fashions of the subculture of marching bands. And now let’s take a moment to be thankful that this nonsense is acceptable nowhere else.)
I will see the teachers who encouraged me to write, those who read my work before anybody found it interesting since it was about shoes and chocolate and Homecoming dances. Or magical mice and broken arms and girls in matching roller skates.

I will see people who have known and loved Robb.
People who attended our wedding, stood in our wedding, played music in our wedding, stood witness to our vows.
I will be reunited with those who danced the night away with us on July 22, 2000. (Still one of the best wedding receptions I have ever, ever been to.)

This weekend is one of the culminations of the last three years, and frankly one of the highest points of my life.

And so, Anxiety – you bully, you punk – you are not welcome. You can keep your lies and shuddering shivers and heightened blood pressure to yourself, because I will have nothing to do with you.

You weren’t part of my life in this town, and I don’t intend to let you move in now. This is guarded territory and sacred ground.
This weekend is mine. Find something else to ruin.

I’ll get you, my pretty. You and your little dog, too.

With love and Xanax,
Tricia

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