Coming Home

lizzy

I spent my Thanksgiving holiday on ski slopes and in Winter Park, Colorado with some of my favorite people. It’s a tradition of ours, to escape to the mountains once a year. For those of us whose family spans the globe, we are each others’ family.

Here come the lonely and misunderstood, the chameleon-like. Few have one place to call home, one culture to claim as their own. This is our diversity and our common ground — the pangs of cross-cultural living.

As for me, my heart has leaked trails through those mountains and across African plains, through Thai villages and Latin American cities. I’ve bled wonder in ancient Grecian ruins and spilled love into eyes when language failed us, where small brown hands cupped my face and whispered beautiful in foreign tongue.

My heart will never feel whole on this earth. Home is a strange concept to me, only an innuendo in the company of those I love dearly.

Yet I no longer revolt at returning to this Mid-west city where my family has settled for over a decade. Where the cafes and farmers markets have become a part of me and familiar smiles slip my coffee across the counter. Where church is somewhere I feel alive and there will always be a soul to sing with, a song to dance to.

Friends have come and gone and perhaps this will always be a place of passing through, but for now my roots sink a little deeper here.

For once, I don’t mind.

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Coming Home

Why I’ll Never Belong and What I Plan to Do About It

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I have to keep reminding myself that this is not a poetry blog and that everything I write doesn’t have to flow with perfect meter and prose. Life rarely does anyway and I’m learning to be real.

Honesty is hard and I tend to leave out the uncomfortable parts so bear with me.

I’ve been thinking too much lately. It seems like the more I think the less I know.

But for the moment, here’s what I do know:

I’m not afraid of silence, but of not having the words to fill someone else’s need. I am enough for myself but will I fall short for you? I can listen to your story, hold your heartaches, but are my stories enough to make you feel less alone?

So many times I’ve been told I’m different. (*mentally inserts the word too before different*)

I’ve been jokingly teased about being too quiet, too skinny, too healthy, too disciplined. I’ve felt guilty for seeking to be the best self I can be. I’ve been ashamed to talk about the things I hold most dear because I might make someone feel bad.

I’ve let my fear of being seen as less than sincere keep me from saying the things my heart whispers. I’ve tiptoed around strong opinions, hurtful gossip, and shallow conversations.

I have nothing to contribute to discussions about popular shows. I’m not a movie critic. I don’t know actors and celebrities and hipster bands. I haven’t even read every book of my favorite author.

I study Greek vocabulary and psychology and vegan cookbooks in my free time. I prefer to rise before the sun. I’ll take a book over a TV show any day. If I watch anything, it’ll be a documentary.

My mind tells me that I’ll never belong anywhere, that I’m too different. That no other nineteen-year-old has pieces of her heart in five continents and holds no interest in dating and would rather just learn to write poetry in another language and read nonfiction and do yoga.

But last year I met my best friend who moved from Spain long enough ago to not fully belong there anymore yet still not long enough to regrow roots here, who loves talking to strangers, who dreams about Broadway and musicals and cities she’s never been to and I realize that people can be so different and still fundamentally so the same.

We tend to alienate ourselves from people because of our differences instead of looking for all the places we intersect. (Well…I do anyway.)

All of us are looking for the same things. Every soul wants to be seen, to be known deeply, to love and be loved, to make a difference. Deep down we all have the same desires, the same disappointments, the same hopes. It runs through our veins no matter our history, the place we call home, or the things we strive for.

So I guess what I’m suggesting is perhaps loneliness is a prison we have chained ourselves into and learning vulnerability and honesty is the key that unlocks the shackles.

I’m seeking to live more authentically and I invite you to join me. 🙂

dew

Currently reading Daring Greatly and hoping to shed some light on this issue of vulnerability that I have wrestled with for so long.

Why I’ll Never Belong and What I Plan to Do About It