A reoccurring theme in my mind, I am surprised how much I am continually amazed with the speed of time and how quickly it passes. Two weeks back in Minnesota flew by in the blink of an eye. It’s never long enough and always extremely hard for me to say goodbye. They say it’s always easier to leave then to be left. I don’t know that I believe that. Sometimes the leaving is just as hard. Even if you’re going someplace you chose to be and love to be, it doesn’t make those bittersweet goodbyes any easier.
Being home is humbling. It’s like a safety net. A place that makes me feel like a child again. I think especially being away for many months then going home- it takes me back in time. My parents are extra excited to see me and me them. We are able to bond and connect in a way that’s different than when I was a minor in the house. The time we spend together is more precious these days because it’s rare. In the same breath, it’s bitter in the sense that time is always moving and just as soon as I arrive, I’ll be leaving. It fills me with a small sense of sadness. At times, being home makes me feel like I’ve gone back to childhood. Back under my parent’s rule, but they are different than when they were raising me. Actually, I shouldn’t say that- they are still very much raising me. They’ll still be raising me long after they are gone.
If you ever want to feel loved, you should go home. Those hugs from parents, siblings, family, friends and old students just fill my heart with so much love and gratitude I have to remind myself why I wanted to leave. During Christmas, I was reminded how much I adore those little hands wrapping around my neck and their whole tiny, skinny bodies squeezing as tightly as they can. I absolutely adore my nieces and nephews. I cannot get over how grown up they are these days, it was almost like I could have ‘adult conversations’ with them and they wanted to talk. It was just the cutest thing.
Of course, a trip home just really wouldn’t be the same without a night of laughs, drinks and old stories with those friends you grew up with. I love that after all these years, it’s still possible to have those friends that have known you from the start. One of my best friends, Bri, she’s a gem. I love that every time we see each other it’s just a simple pick up from last time. She’s one of those people who has the ability to make you feel like everything is okay when you’re with her. She keeps me grounded and reminds me that perhaps I’m not quite as crazy as I think I am. Time with her is never long enough and always goes so quickly.
“Yea, imagine how crazy life is. I mean, two years ago did you ever imagine she’d have a baby, I’d have cancer and you’d be away in Seattle?” It’s amazing what a minute can do. How fast time goes. I was also blessed enough to get to see my two best friends and college roommates for New Years Eve. As the three of us reconnected, I couldn’t help but feel a bittersweet ting. With each passing moment it was greater to feel close to them but also painfully sad that it was one second closer to leaving them again. We used to be all that we needed. The three of us somehow managed to get through college together with only a few battle wounds. Then, the real world happened. And boy, did it get real, at least for them. Chemo, a baby and a different state now keeps us a little unattached but my heart always is with them.
As I have said many times before, the older I get, the more and more I want to hang out with my parents. It’s heartbreaking to me to see them grow old. Sometimes I wish I could just keep time still- just so I can take in every second with them. Remember when we used to think that parent’s weren’t cool? I wish I could take those days back. I love them so much. Luckily, I was able to spend much needed time alone with them. Some of my best nights were with my parents. Whether it be shopping, drinks, laughs at dinner, late night DJing, Concert Video watching, laying in bed talking or just hanging out; my parents are people that I can just talk and cry to about anything and not feel like they are going to yell at me. Instead, they offer the best advice and big hugs. Sometimes, I could use way more of those hugs in my life.
There were so many moments from those two weeks in Minnesota that I wish I could trap, keep and replay over and over. Moments that I wish would be part of my everyday life. Moments that fill me with so much happiness it makes me sad that it’s over. Especially when I’m out here and feeling alone. It gets hard to remember why anyone would want to leave their loved ones behind but that’s what makes our lives our own. It would be easy to stay where I’m comfortable. It would be easy to stay with all those people who genuinely care and love so much but then I would be living a life for them and not for myself. As hard as it is to say goodbye and no matter the amount of tears that fall I know that in order for me to feel free, to find myself and to create a life that I want to live, I must be going.