The Ways We Return to Ourselves


The humidity is higher than yesterday and already the New York City streets seem to be struggling. We're a few days back from California and I miss the ocean and the pockets of cool breeze that seemed to make everything less weighted.

We traveled from San Diego to San Francisco and we stayed somewhere different almost every night. We shared a suitcase and tried to pack only what we really required. After all, who wants to be on the road with excess baggage? It seems to contradict the feeling of freedom. 

Sometimes my mind would drift back to nine years ago when I traveled across India, moving from space to space, never staying long enough to settle in any one spot. The days became weeks became months. I was always leaving somewhere.

I was raised in a way which favored staying. In a house. In a job. In a relationship. Staying was a measure of success. It showed strength of character and commitment. And, oh how I stayed. 

I stayed in jobs that sucked the soul from me but offered the security I was taught to value above all else. I stayed in relationships that saw me lose the best pieces of myself but offered a social status that was deemed to be more important than my own wants. 

I stayed until all the silent screams that I had been dutifully carrying around inside of me threatened to spill over and bring the whole facade of my carefully constructed world crashing down. But the warnings were heeded far too late. And, oh how I crashed.

Such illuminating truths we find in the smithereens of ourselves.  

Staying does not always serve us, and leaving is not always a sign of failure. The fluidity of us is a beautiful thing. That we can move and roam and redefine our successes as we choose our own paths and name our own needs. 

Because doesn't leaving somewhere also mean that we're arriving somewhere, too? Closer to the core of us. Nearer to the heart of us. Returning in ways and waves that are full of flow and yet still so steadying. 

The language of us is the home of us. A deep inner knowing that requires no translation. And sometimes we are already home, never needing to wander or make our way back. And sometimes we find our fluency as we greet each new place and leave and arrive and remember.