Sunday, August 5, 2012

Home is the Love You Carry With You

12 days.

Holy shit.

I'm leaving in 12 days. Less than two weeks.

This realization began to finally settle in as I re-read the cards given to me at my farewell party last night. Looking at pictures of my 2 year old niece and 4 year old nephew that my sister had put in my card caused me to reflect on the last few years- I remembered part of why I stayed so long was wanting to stay long enough for them to be able to remember who I am.

They remember me now. They ask when I'm coming to visit. They are little people with likes and dislikes, thoughts, ideas... I had a brief teary-eyed moment as I realized my monthly visits to Philly to see them will be reduced to once or twice a year.

Then I thought of the last two months, of the people- my friends and family- I've been able to really spend quality time with, and I felt really really sad. Sad because these people who have loved me, in spite of my quirks and neurotic (sometimes obsessive) tendencies, will be much further than a quick car ride away. Dinners, lunches, trips to the beach, hikes, and happy hours will all boil down to long distance Skype, emails, and phone calls.

But then I remembered that it is also because of them and their love that I am able to take off. They have loved me through some of the most difficult parts of my life, and helped me to heal. I can leave with my heart whole and intact with the knowledge that they will be with me wherever I am. 

I am unspeakably grateful for these people- these talented, passionate, intelligent, strong, loyal, loving people- who, for whatever reason, have made room in their lives for me. They are my family and my home.

As the days wind down, and I prepare to pack up my car to venture westward, I am shifting my focus from leaving what I love to remembering that what I love is the reason I am able to go. For much of my life I've had a pervading sense of lacking a home, but now more than ever, I've been learning that home  isn't necessarily a specific place or person. Sometimes, home is the love you carry with you.

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, 
while loving someone deeply gives you courage."
-Lao Tzu

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