Five years. Three states. 5 different addresses. And a year ago I finally came home. 

Since I decided to quit my job as an educator and go to law school my life took a sort of lonely gypsy turn. I left my home. Moved to new regions of the country, started training for a new career ALONE. 

I am the middle of five children. I was raised in a cult. Being ALONE was a new experience for me. And one I wanted all my life. 

Many people think I am an only child when they meet me. On my fifth grade state writing exam the prompt asked us to write about something we wanted to do when we grew up. I wrote about moving out of my mom’s house. 

But five years after I left home for law school,  I was back at my mom’s house sleeping on the couch. And I was so happy. 

It had been ten years since I lived with my mom. As soon as I could I fulfilled the dream of 11 year old me and moved out. Five years after I first moved out, I moved away. It took five years of living away, far away from my home, from my people to realize this: I am not a rock. I am not an island. 

All of my life I was part of some form of community.  As a child my neighborhood had everything I needed or wanted. My school, my dance classes, my Girl Scout troop, my swim classes, my Saturday art classes, my friend, everything.  Sitting on a patio overlooking the Pacific Ocean one glorious Southern California Sunday I realized this. I had recently quit a job I hated. I was taking antidepressants, and was lonely while surrounded by really cool people. And just like that I decided I didn’t have to be ALONE. 

3000 miles away were people who loved and cared for me. They knew me. They understood me. They wouldn’t judge me. And I was going back to them. 

It’s been a year since I came home. More often than not my heart is so full I am overwhelmed by how many people love me. This past year has been the hardest of my life, and the best. My personal breakdown was visible to my family and friends who supported me over the course of a very dark, difficult, confusing time. And through that support I have grown to recognize and acknowledge the abundance of love in my life. 

Oh yeah, and I became a cat parent. Things are looking up. 

*Featured Image from Intent.com

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