I’ve been sitting in the airport now for over six hours with a delayed flight.
Luckily, I’m with my best friend – we’re on the same flight back to Ohio from NYC. But needless to say, we’ve been going a little stir crazy.
But despite all the delays, crying children, and frustrating lack of information, one thing’s for sure: we are both so excited to be going home.
Which, as I reflect on that now, I fully appreciate that that mindset has not always been the case.
Home has not always been a joyful place for me.
In fact, it has more often than not, been a source of deep sorrow and regret. Painful reminders of that season of anorexia, coupled with an inescapable shadow that followed me around, of the life I once loved – and the life I threw away and chose to destroy through an eating disorder that nearly took my life.
And as though places and objects were painful enough, people, too, seem incapable of letting go of that broken, sick girl I was before. And unable to embrace the young woman I am today, healthy and whole – in every sense of the word.
And I think if I’m really honest, I’ve spent the majority of my life running from that. Chasing dreams. Chasing adventure. Trying to reinvent the person I had lost during my anorexia. And though I have come close, I am unable to replicate that joyful, unburdened existence of before — where my heart was free, spirit on fire, and my soul loved and cherished by a family that loved and supported me through my highest highs and lowest lows.
But I think I’ve let that aversion and pain I’ve associated with home, keep me from even imagining what a life there could look like. I was allowing those negative thoughts and memories and judgements drive a wedge in my heart, which I realize now, is letting the eating disorder win, yet again.
This year, I’ve been more excited than ever to be home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. And I don’t know about you, but it seems like the entire fall has absolutely flown by. Maybe because I’m growing up, or maybe because my heart — like my time — is split in two, between NYC and Ohio.
Living in two places has, given me such a unique perspective. And I’m not talking about my mastery of the security line, or affinity for essentials-only light packing skills,
I have been living from a place of gratitude.
Since my mom’s stroke, I’ve really had a whole new outlook. That night at the hospital, praying with every fiber of my being that my mom make it through the night, left me with a raw, black and white view of what truly matters in this life. The rose colored glasses that I had grown accustomed to in my cushy early twenties were, in that moment, ripped off, and I was left with unfiltered, unedited life.
In that moment, things changed. If it didn’t matter, it didn’t matter.
Parties, the perfect outfit, the social media following, the opinion of others — they just don’t matter.
People matter. Time together with loved ones matter. Laughter, intimate conversations, sharing hearts, sharing joys — that matters. And you do what you have to do to keep that a priority…even if it means flying place to place every few weeks.
But whether I’m in Ohio or NYC, when I am there, I am there.
I say yes. I go the extra mile. I stay out late. I rearrange schedules. I show up for the people that matter to me. Because that’s what life is all about.
You’re not going to remember witty banter on social media, or what emojis were used to express emotions in a group chat — you’re going to remember time. Smiles. Experiences. How you felt in the moment.
That is what I am grateful for this Thanksgiving. That time. The people I share it with. The joys and memories we have together.
But to be honest, I’ve never felt more torn in my life. Though I appreciate having a job that takes me back home to Ohio so often, and another job that allows me to work from anywhere, the truth is, I know I cannot sustain this lifestyle forever, not at least, if I want to get married and settle down.
But my heart is torn in two places. Home, with my family – and the joyful day to day moments that I deeply yearn to be a part of. And in NYC with my very best friends – who have been by my side in life since we were wee little tikes, in the life that I have built over the last eight years.
But I fear I’m beginning to open up a can of worms that I am frankly afraid to confront. I don’t want to face the inevitable of future plans, or the closing of a chapter.
And as I sit here writing this, I am absolutely verklempt, and here I am sitting in my airplane seat crying, just like the kid kicking my seat behind me.
Maybe that’s why time is flying: because I’m trying with all my might to ignore the inevitable. To not face the music, and as a result, it’s slipping faster and faster through my fingers.
Indecision is still a decision. As much as I hate to admit that to myself. Ignoring the elephant in the room doesn’t make it any less big or any less smelly.
I’m a woman with two countries. And cannot fathom making a decision between the two.
Time is the most valuable asset we have. And, as grateful as I am for this time I have with both sets of family in both “homes” I have been blessed with, I appreciate that at some point, I am going to open up that can of worms and confront the rapidly changing calendar months.
This post, like my heart, is unresolved. Other than the realization that God knows what He is doing. God is allowing me this time in NYC, to be filled with something only He knows I need. And for that, I am so grateful.
But I’d love to know – how you’ve resolved a torn existence? How do you discern where God is calling you in life? Because when the time comes for me to either shovel elephant poop, or put him in his pen, I’m gong to need some advice.
So thank you , and I hope you have a blessed and happy thanksgiving.
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