Weekend Home — It Takes Baby Steps

This weekend was the first time I had been home in 4 years. Say whaaaaa?

I didn’t realize it had been so long until I tried to recall when and why I had last been home. It was for my 10 year high school reunion.

I graduated in 2002.

Four years.

Solomons Island

Neil and I both grew up in MD, so we spent the weekend with our respective parents. He went his way and I went mine upon landing on Saturday morning. His trip home took about 30 minutes, but mine was about 90 since I grew up in southern MD.

My sister Jackie picked me up from the airport with her two dogs. If you have IG and watched my stories from the weekend, you know I spent a lot of time riding with them on my lap in pure joy (me — maybe not them). I should have saved some of them so I would have more pictures to share with you, but I wasn’t quick enough.

Jackie had to head to a concert later that night, so we spent some time at home, headed out to take some pictures, and eat some ice cream on the boardwalk before she left.

Ice Cream

Solomons Island

I don’t think I realized how lucky I was to grow up surrounded by so much nature and water. It’s something that settles my mind, puts me at ease, and a place where I could spend hours and hours.

Chicago is great for so many reasons, but I miss being able to step outside and walk to views like these. I miss going out on boats at a moment’s notice. I miss the calm.

Seahorse Beach

I asked myself why it took me so long to go back to the place where I grew up and the only reason I could come up with was that I just wasn’t ready. As beautiful as it is, it was also the place where I lost a lot of my life.

My last memories of my room weren’t of hiding away and reading books, but hiding away and using drugs when I was there. I didn’t want to drive by the pharmacy I worked for for 8 years and relive the arrest, the deception, and the fact that I never really talked to any of those people again. I wasn’t able to appreciate the nature that was all around me during that time, instead thinking about where I would go to drink and how drunk I could be and still drive home.

Sometimes it takes a break to be able to find a new perspective. Coming back home this time wasn’t easy, but it was easier.Β 

Seahorse Beach

This little nugget didn’t hurt either.


Sometimes it takes baby steps.

I wasn’t able to go to Baltimore for a long time after I got clean. It wasn’t until Neil got an extended assignment there when we were first dating and I wasn’t working that I attempted it.

The longer you stay away from something because you’re afraid of it, the bigger it will grow and the harder it will be to face.

I realized that I had to make new memories or Baltimore would always be a) a temptation and b) in control of me. I traveled with him and stayed Monday-Friday, making new memories and conquering my fear of a place that once took me down.

My trip back home, although short, was a baby step. I created new memories and the thought of going back isn’t as overwhelming. It was good to see my mom, my sister, and those sweet little pups. It was good to justΒ be.

Today’s post is a little more introspective than my normal weekend recaps, but I wanted to share my experience to show that although things may scare you, it’s important to take those baby steps in order to move forward.

I did make sure to share an ice cream cone with you though. πŸ˜‰

I hope you all had a FANTASTIC weekend. Take those steps today.


  • What did you do this weekend?
  • What’s something that scares you?


  1. September 12, 2016 / 5:21 am

    Good for you. I think we all have “THAT” place. The one that carries all the baggage, all of the weight. It is important to wait until you are ready to go back there, otherwise you risk opening that wound in a way that means it has to heal all over again.
    Susie @ Suzlyfe recently posted…Mag Mile Half Marathon Race Weekend and BIG NewsMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      September 12, 2016 / 11:46 am

      Totes. Having puppies there made it better as always πŸ™‚

  2. September 12, 2016 / 5:40 am

    I 100% agree with you about avoiding something only makes it harder when facing it. I learned that the hard way and was terrified of facing a situation, but it is totally a breath of fresh air once it’s done. Like “ahhhhh I did it”. I’m from Maryland too, and don’t get home enough. I need to change that!
    Sara @ Oats & Rows recently posted…Wonderful Wedding Weekend in AtlantaMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      September 13, 2016 / 2:42 pm

      Where in MD??

  3. September 12, 2016 / 6:14 am

    My hip surgery scares me. Like I’ve been sobbing for weeks and feel so alone about it. It’s just unimaginable that I have to go through something an old person goes through. I’m so scared I won’t feel better after and regret it.
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious recently posted…Healthy Cinnamon Oat Apple Pie {GF, Low Cal}My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      September 13, 2016 / 2:44 pm

      I can’t even imagine what it’s like to get closer to a surgery date like that. If you need someone to talk to, don’t hesitate to reach out. For reals, not just saying that.

  4. steph
    September 12, 2016 / 9:06 am

    How did I not know you were from SoMd? I am from SC, but I am a proud St. Mary’s College alum and spent many good years there πŸ™‚

    • erinsinsidejob
      September 12, 2016 / 9:07 am

      Me too! I went to st Mary’s! What year did you graduate?

      • steph
        September 12, 2016 / 9:15 am

        I’m old…I graduated in 1998, then from GWU in 2001. That area still holds a special place in my heart.

        • erinsinsidejob
          September 12, 2016 / 11:47 am

          It’s so beautiful down there!

  5. September 12, 2016 / 9:13 am

    I’m so happy for you, taking big (baby) steps to spend time back home. HUGS. I’m scared of starting The New Part-Time Job. Are you tired of me talking about it, yet?

    • erinsinsidejob
      September 13, 2016 / 2:45 pm

      Definitely not. I want to hear MORE about it!

  6. September 12, 2016 / 9:36 am

    Congrats on your baby step. I totally agree about places and things that hold bad memories are easy to avoid. I even have clothes that had bad memories that I don’t wear or use and end up getting rid of. I love living by the water-I don’t think I could move away from it.
    Lauren recently posted…Chicago Marathon Training Weeks 10 &11 RecapMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      September 13, 2016 / 2:46 pm

      I’m glad I at least have this giant lake, but it’s not quite the same without all the trees and streams.

  7. September 12, 2016 / 10:33 am

    i am SO CANADIAN that i had to google which state MD was. Sighhhh. Get it together Cheng.
    Going home is a WEIRD thing. I had a lot of bad memories and experiences in my hometown (Calgary) and I would hate going back there during summer in University. However I loveee hanging out with my parents and chilling at home, so the pros definitely outweigh the cons now. Sounds like you had a great time, and i’m excited for you that you made some great new memories there πŸ™‚
    Beverley @ Born to Sweat recently posted…How To Make Kombucha (At Home Tutorial)My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      September 13, 2016 / 2:47 pm

      Oh yeah I probably should have written the full thing at least once haha. I’m glad YOU are making new memories when you’re home!

  8. September 12, 2016 / 11:43 am

    High fives to you, you are an incredible and powerful woman. I can’t imagine going back there, my old childhood home that has the most memories belongs to someone else now. I still feel weird sometimes just thinking about it. Forgiving our pasts is so critical and yet easier said than done. I’m over it but sometimes wonder am I?
    You’re an inspiration and warrior, thanks for your light πŸ™‚
    Danielle recently posted…WIR sleep less play moreMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      September 13, 2016 / 2:47 pm

      Thanks girl! Yeah I’m sure that having someone else where you grew up is hard!

  9. September 12, 2016 / 12:46 pm

    Thats great you were able to go! Even for a short visit. I can understand that feeling of fear and dread about going someplace. It happened to me when I had to be around dance after having to quit. I was so scared to go to a show because it made me feel certain things all over again!
    Heather @ Polyglot Jot recently posted…5 Reasons I ExerciseMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      September 13, 2016 / 2:48 pm

      Oh absolutely. It’s easier to just avoid them haha. But then we don’t move past them blah blah. Hope it’s better for you now!

  10. September 12, 2016 / 4:10 pm

    Hi Erin, really good post.

    I had the same trouble as you when I needed to take trips to my district of my hometown. I even used to fear cars on the street that were the same cars that used to serve me coke.

    Thankfully I am over it.

    • erinsinsidejob
      September 13, 2016 / 2:48 pm

      Thank you Thomas! I can totally relate. Sometimes it just takes time.

  11. Ann
    September 12, 2016 / 4:36 pm

    Erin, you are amazing. I admire your strength so very much and hope that I can harness an ounce of your courage one day soon. Thank you for sharing your life with us! xo

    • erinsinsidejob
      September 13, 2016 / 2:49 pm

      Aw thank you Ann!! Girl you got this!

  12. September 12, 2016 / 4:43 pm

    For the short time that I’ve gotten to know you via the internet and Instagram, you have become a constant positive presence… I’m sorry I haven’t said that to you sooner, but I want to thank you for being that for me! I cannot imagine the strength and courage it took for you to go home for the first time. I’m sure Neil and your parents and sister and friends are incredibly proud of the person that you have become and this trip sounds like it was just the step you needed!
    Ellie | Hungry by Nature recently posted…Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Tahini DipMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      September 12, 2016 / 5:08 pm

      OMG that is the sweetest thing! I really appreciate you reading and sharing the journey with me Ellie πŸ™‚

    • erinsinsidejob
      September 13, 2016 / 2:50 pm

      Thanks Bri!

  13. September 12, 2016 / 10:03 pm

    So proud of you Erin, what an accomplishment. I was terrified of stepping foot in the town of the treatment center I was in. But once I did it felt like a weight was lifted off my chest. I think looking fear straight in the face and remembering to have faith during these situations is so important!
    Alyssa recently posted…MHM 9/12/16: The Social Aspects of EatingMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      September 13, 2016 / 2:50 pm

      I can totally relate. It’s tough going back to those places, but the more we do it with a stronger identity and conviction, the easier it gets!

  14. September 13, 2016 / 6:19 am

    Glad you had a nice time, although I can definitely see how that would be so hard to go back. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I think moving back home was so hard because of those things I knew I left behind would be waiting for me too. I liked this introspective post, it got me thinking πŸ™‚ <3

    • erinsinsidejob
      September 13, 2016 / 2:51 pm

      Good I’m glad! Don’t forget to talk to meeeeeee.

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