No Place Like Home

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And I’m back.

After a couple weeks in the United States with my family in Orlando. We’re home. And I’ll admit, when I first touched down. I had mixed feelings.

The kind of mixed feelings that crop up every now and then. And sometimes a little more often.

Are we doing the right thing?

Familiar I’m sure to every parent out there.

As we settled into our routine again. Slowly that assurance I had been looking for began to wash over me. One that had been challenged by time with my parents. My brother and his family. Watching the cousins experience life together. Us all experience life together.

It’s hard being away from those faces. Along with many other faces.

But we have changed out stars.

And the sky they live in.

And I just don’t know if that would have been possible otherwise.

I don’t even recognize that person that left the United States almost two years ago. Stressed out and anxious. Searching for meaning. Ready to break all ties with convention and perspective. Understanding from a particular viewpoint, knowing that there was more to consider, but unsure of what that meant.

And mostly, on the brink of discovering that there is no such thing as normal. It’s up to us to choose. To find a place that inspires and supports our version of it to the fullest extent. And for now, Ecuador is the place for me.

Relaxed and easy. It’s a far cry from the hectic life we led back in Los Angeles. Always rushing from here to there. A day late and a dollar short.

The kind of place where plans just happen. Where it is free to be without the rigidity of a schedule that leaves no room for improvisation. Playdates in the middle of the week. Coffee with friends after a long run. Breakfast every morning with my husband. Quinoa and avocado with a runny egg.

For me, it’s the lifestyle that I was searching for. And one that I’m not sure I would have been able to accept for myself immersed in a culture that is so focused on what we do, as opposed to who we are. Even now, I waffle between accepting myself as a contributing member of society without the traditional contributions to offer.

And accepting myself, as myself.

Someone who likes to ponder. Sit quietly and stare at the trees outside her window. Spend hours in the kitchen, hands moving without a single real thought running through her head. Stirring. Flipping. Pouring. Almost as if possessed by some unseen magic. Feet pounding against the pavement. Music blasting. Muscling through puzzles with my son. Pretending to be a dinosaur. Gently guiding him across the sidewalk on roller skates.

Nothing fancy. No impressive title or set of abbreviations behind my name to note.

Just a person who loves her family above all else.

Who wants to be healthy and happy.

And learn and grow.

Knowing that in life, that is enough.

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