I have been away. Away from my family for four months. Away from my husband and dog for over two weeks. Away from my comfort zone for longer. And upon coming home this past Friday I felt jolted into a reality that I have not completely wrapped my head around yet. Midway through my work tour I felt incredibly homesick, but I could not name for which home. And when I arrived to my beautiful, glorious, beachside home this past Friday, I did not, in fact, feel at home. Although my husband was there, and my sweet little nugget of a pup, I still felt homesick for what I left behind. I wanted to see my mom and dad, I wanted my brother and Brittany and the baby to come over. I wanted Autumn.
I left my first home before. In 1999 I drove with my boyfriend to the Arizona desert in search of adventure and all that comes with being heady in love with the person you eventually don't end up with. And it was an adventure. I remember crying for most of the drive, poor Mark, the poet without the words to console me. But once the levity of it all set in, I figured it out and made a life for myself (ultimately without the poet) in the dusty, lovely town I will always consider one of my homes. And there, I met my true love and began a life that I would not trade for anything. I had the most phenomenal girlfriends, and mentors, and a life that felt like home. I always missed my family, but I had my footing. What is hard to remember, is when I got that footing into place. But I know it took some time.
I am now 40 years old and although I still have an adventurous spirit burning inside of me, I feel more insecure than ever about figuring this all out. I have the most incredible home, the perfect mate for me, and enough money to have nice dinners and vacations and a savings account. I had none of these things the last time I left my "home", but for some reason now it seems so much harder.
And let's get one thing straight. As beautiful as autumn is in New England, I really don't miss it. I am on my patio in my bathing suit with a boogie board nearby just in case I need to head down to the Pacific Ocean for a quick swim before dinner, on the grill, in October. Yes, the photos of pumpkins and foliage touch a place in me that is nostalgic, but I must admit, I have it pretty good. I am quite okay with endless summer and anyone who really knows me, knows this to be the truth!
I guess what it comes down to is as small as the world is now because of technology and ease of travel, it is just never the same when all the people you love the most are there when you come "home". I know that the "footing" will come for me in this new place I am calling my home. I know that I can get there, but I just wish I had a timeline to know when it will happen.
In the meantime, I will never squander all of the perks of this challenging and exciting time. I have a husband who loves me, a perfect, fluffy pup, and an ocean within walking distance of my front door. And in this way, I guess home is pretty alright. And when the photos of blizzardly New England eventually appear in my feed, my footing should be in place (and without boots on!).