It's been awhile.
I could use the excuse that I'm busy - but that would only be half true. I mean, I am busy, but I have also been graced with a lot of down time lately. And I could have written. But I didn't. My only explanation for this is that I have spent quite a bit of time studying me. Getting pieces of myself back. After leaving the United States, I kept stumbling upon pieces of myself. They would come up unexpectedly and I would welcome them with open arms, exclaiming "Oh gracious! There you are, self! I have missed you!" Since returning to the US, the pieces of me have remained rather silent. In a good way, calm and peaceful. But silent, nonetheless. So, at some point, I started looking for all those pieces still missing. I picked up books, touched the keys of a piano, drew, ran, made myself laugh. It's not that I haven't been doing all of those things rather casually over the years, but I did them all with the thought "I'm just going to do this thing for me for a bit. Yummy." Yes, yummy. I tend to forget myself in others. I give pieces without ever reclaiming them or asking for something in return. So, I'm welcoming those pieces back that wish to come back. Some, I think, won't ever return. Others have jumped at the chance. Either way, all of this points to a final conclusion to my year abroad.
The prodigal daughter ((me)) is finally coming home.
And I wonder, if it weren't for facebook, skype, telephones etc, would anyone even recognize me? Last night I chatted with a dear friend and he laughed as he said "It's funny, I don't know you anymore. I still love you like it hurts, but I don't know this woman you've become." At first, I was slightly - maybe more than slightly - hurt by this statement. He is one of the people I cherish most in life, how could he possibly not know me? But he just laughed at me again and explained it a bit like this::
"To start with the obvious, M, you left here eyeliner drawn and coverup covered with long straightened hair, skinny jeans, nervously defining "you" with every label you could stick to yourself as if that's what gave you an identity. You've returned barefoot and bare faced with short curls, a bounce in your step, and fierce opposition to those who dare tell you no. Are you still working out the kinks? Sure, but last fall I feared for your life and this fall I fear for those who even think of taking you on. You are a beautiful, fiery, light of a human being - made of stars. No one could possibly know you from the little girl you were. It is said no one reaches their potential until they're with God and I think that's true, but I might beg to argue that point looking at the beautiful fiery woman you've transformed into."
There's a reason he's a favorite. And so, I am coming home. For how long, I can't say. But I no longer fear losing myself to the small town of Maple Valley and am going home to fully appreciate it for what it is. The fall leaves, the hiking, snowboarding, Mt Rainier, all that is soccer, friends, and family. Who knows what comes after this? I know nothing of the future and wouldn't want to. Oh what joy to be here and now!
Enjoy your moments, they are what this life is made of.
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