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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Ann


In my teen years, I engaged in many a wild activity with a group of misfits, all ranging in ages from 14 (me) to 26. A couple of the older guys rented a house on a street in the river valley, so this place became our party house. This particular group disbanded once a few pals graduated from high school so I found a new group of friends, a couple of which, strangely enough, rented this same house in the river valley a year or so later, so this place continued on as my party house, holding memories I am grateful to not remember much of.

Fast forward twenty some years, and I now work in the river valley, on the same street as the party house, in a leadership position for an organization that supports people in homelessness and poverty. I am consistently in awe of the position & work I am honored to have; and never quite know exactly how to thank the Universe for the path I have been blessed with. That in mind,

I work where I do partly because I have life experience with abject poverty, mental illness, trauma, & addiction,

many of these experiences born in the party house of my youth.

On a walk to get out of the office this afternoon, I decided I'd finally try to remember which house I spent so much time in as an abused teenager desperate to forget her circumstances, and desperate to escape herself. I knew it was on the same street as my office, but the memories of the era and house are foggy and inconsistent. I curiously looked at each one, until a backyard garage stirred up flashbacks.

Standing across the street from it, I gasped and then shifted my line of sight slightly to the right because if you'd believe it, my teenage party house is on the same block as the organization I work for, each building a bookend for the block.

oh, the tenderness I have for this stretch of street in the river valley, and the stories held between.

Once my bottom jaw reunited with the rest of my face, I felt that tingly goosebumpy chill that only comes from divine sources. The loudness of how loved I have always been echoed on that street in the river valley this afternoon. In these teenage moments, when I was in hell, in this party house, in addiction, in dissociation, in self-betrayal, in repetitive heartache, unbeknownst to me there God(dess) was, holding me in Sacredness, preparing me for a calling greater than I could have ever imagined in those fierce, formative, forlorn moments; a call that would be answered just a few doors down twenty some years later.

I love you, and I love me, and I love life, as brutal as she can be,

Blessings, E

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08 jul. 2023

Wow. Such an amazing story Liz. You are such a strong person and I know that your life experiences, hard as some have been, have blessed the lives of so many others. You are such a blessing to those who are lucky enough to work with you.

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