Jun 2, 2014

Return to the D

Touchdown! After a twelve hour plane ride, I was finally home in Metro Detroit.

My good friend Laurén and I had dinner downtown, on the top floor of the GM Renaissance Center. We could see the blinking lights of Woodward and Gratiot stretching out like the spokes of a wheel, and we were at its center.

This was only the second time I've stayed in Detroit passed nightfall. Near sunset we took a stroll along the new Detroit Riverfront with views of Canada across the water. A harbor with a lighthouse and small yachts was not what I expected in a city that has always brought fear into my heart. Now more people are moving in to the area, and property values are rising. Some neighborhoods are getting cleaned up.

When I lived here, I hated the city. Now it's growing and changing, albeit a little at a time. It reminded me of the universal truth that everything in life is uncertain; nothing is forever. Detroit's ability to rise above the bloody decades of racial divide and corruption is akin to a person's ability to overcome childhood trauma and poisonous relationships. We are only locked into the cages we believe are unbreakable.

I think that's the reason I travel, to prove to myself I am truly free. Sitting there above Detroit, I accepted that it's a part of who I am, and that released me from it in a way all those years of rejecting it never did. Now instead of traveling to get away, my focus is on the joy of going somewhere new.


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