Bear with me as I’m feeling nostalgic from Thanksgiving, my birthday, and the upcoming holidays. I have a hunch this post is partly inspired because this time of year forces us to get our local life organized enough to make space for travel and gatherings.
— A time of year to RETURN—
Return to your home town, family, traditions, and the meals that only get served once a year (because most Cubans only eat Turkey on Thanksgiving). My last trip home to Miami, Florida was grounding. My soul was filled with the warmth of a hug only my mom can give. I was reminded of all the things I’ve accomplished since moving 8 years ago and filled with truths about who I am from my family members. I acknowledge this may not be relatable to everyone as family can be complicated, and for some not the place you feel invited to return to, but I hope you read along.
The ironic and beautiful thing about the concept of return is that, even if you are going back to the same place, time has passed and things are simultaneously familiar and different. I can drive down all the same roads with no help from the GPS, but when I arrive to the friends I’ve had for over a decade now, we’re talking about our careers and not the mean girl of the week in high school. That’s just the beginning.
I have a sense that I am doing a lot of returning these days (no not presents). Follow my train of thought for a second. Relationships tend to require a lot of yourself and to consider the thoughts, feelings, interests, spirituality etc. of another person. Being a self-diagnosed over-thinker (why yes I do have the credentials to do that) this took up a lot of time and headspace. I don’t mean to make that sound negative because it’s not. That’s just one way I care for others. Can we make over thinking the 6th love language? I might have to copyright that idea. What I realized was I’ve returned to singleness, increased free time, and the ability to focus more on myself.
But then I started to be frustrated with the idea that I was back at the beginning. What is it all for (any positive or negative event) if you end up right back where you started? I happened to be driving as I was thinking about this. Then an image came to mind. The road is less like a perpetual traffic circle and more like this:
If you live in Atlanta you might know exactly where this is. The far too aggressive loop that transforms i75 South into i85 North. So returning is less like a circle and more like a loop! It FEELS like going back but it spits you out in a new direction. Maybe even parallel to the road you were just on but headed a NEW way.
Now this I can reconcile with. I’m single but not the single girl I used to be. There is no fear, regret, or discontentment . There is no anger towards myself, him, or God. I’m back to having more time but instead of sitting around at home I am eager to try new things. I want to figure out what my interest are and invest time into them. Similar status but a different perspective than the past.
Your return is likely not the same as mine. It could be a return of anxiety, depression, anger, weight, joblessness, financial insecurity etc. But what have you triumphed? What do you know now you didn’t know before? Reflect and see that even a loop has a potential for forward movement. And if you’re still not convinced then the question might be how are you holding yourself back?
Friends, I’m on a path and its leading somewhere I haven’t been before.