Five years ago, I learned that “home” isn’t necessarily a place, but a feeling. I was living in what most would refer to as “paradise.” The sun was always up, time seemed to slow down, palm trees danced in a way that stripped the stress from your soul ... even the warm rain was welcomed ... partly because it never lasted more than a few minutes, but mostly to remind us that nothing was perfect. Sort of a wet reality check. It was during those so-called reality checks when I realized that the weather and beautiful landscape didn’t make this place paradise. It was the people that surrounded me ... people from all over the world, from all different cultures and backgrounds. How could I live in the same place for 22 years and not experience this feeling until I moved 8,000 miles away? Complete strangers became roommates, coworkers, neighbors and most importantly, great friends. Best friends, in some cases. We called each other ‘family’ for a reason. I was puzzled and excited and mystified and thankful all at once. I love this island. It opened my eyes in a way that I had never fathomed. I knew it wasn’t a place I would forever spend my life, but it would certainly help shape my life from there on out. I learned what true friendship was ... I found that learning about different ways-of-life helps you not only better understand the world, but yourself as well. When you feel at home you imagine anything to be possible. And it is. No desire is too strong and no dream unattainable.
When I left that “paradise,” I was fortunate enough to find another one that gave me the same feeling. Since then, however, I’ve inched my way toward the opposite end of the spectrum ... in mid-2008 I started using the term “home” very uncomfortably. I felt my happiness slip away and hated every moment of it. I’ve lived in two different “places” since 08 ... even bounced back-and-forth between ‘em for one reason or another ... I have to admit, at times, I did succumb to feeling just OK. It could be worse, people would say ... or, maybe you just need to give it time, others would chime in. I knew it could be worse. And, well, let’s be honest ... when you’re raising a baby, time flies ... so I gave it time without even realizing. Nothing changed. I love several different aspects of my life ... and am grateful and appreciative for those in it, but something is missing. Something has been missing for a while now ... and I know what it is. I’ve always known, but pushed it away at times ... worrying what others would think or worse: hurting their feelings ... I feared the obstacles that stood in the way, whether they were mental/physical/emotional/financial etc.
I’ve listened to a lot of advice in the past couple of years, I stored a lot of it ... some I followed half-heartedly, some not at all. A few pieces of wisdom have always stuck out, however ... like: people don’t change ... do what makes you happy ... only you know what’s best. I think, in order to do what makes you happy ... you have to realize who in your life is a positive influence and who is not. When you release the negative energy from your life ... it leaves room for the important stuff. But you can’t do any of that until you’re ready-- people can give you the same advice every single day, but only you know how to best apply it (if at all). When you’re ready to make that decision ... you’ll know.
And what I know, is that I want to find my “paradise” again. The feeling that inspires and brings out the best ME.
Lexism of the Day: getting super excited/cheering when cousin kooper was shooting hoops (and making them all)
OMG Moment: lexi doing "Yoga"
Current Craving: Pizza (you'll probably see this one a lot)
Try this: send a hand-written letter to someone
Read this: Natural Health Magazine
Exercise this: Simple yoga moves
Avoid this: cliche valentine's day gifts like ... red roses.
Quote/lyric that fits the day: "You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That's the only thing you should be trying to control." - Eat Pray Love