I found home.

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I found home. 
Finally.

Somewhere in the fog of Tennessee’s Highway 24, or in Archery, Georgia, or in the mountains where I met with friends and laughed before heading out to race along familiar red clay trails … or in the cabin – almost to Manhattan – to celebrate one of my very best friend’s 50th birthday. Or maybe it was while stalled in the snow –  in cartwheeling distance from our exit – with the pup for a few hours and entertaining myself making a snow angel in the median, reading, feeding Izzy snowballs and smiling at other people stuck on the icy hill.

I know I found it because I can feel it—home.

But it wasn’t at the giant house in the southern town where I was born. Or among those people. Or even among the son and his wife I love so much. Or in a burg across the ocean. Or aunties and cousins (and their fellas). Or even among very best friends. Or Izzy.

Somewhere across 3,500 miles, decades of searching for home (and healing) came to a full stop. I found home. I found home right where I sat … sit.

Or stand, or shuffle, or work, or downward dog, or stand holding someone’s hand (or not) or waiting in line to buy the yogurt or giggling while the snow falls on my tongue.

I finally found home in me.

My god, how could it take so long? I am grateful that it finally happened.
That a wealth of works and words and prayers and f-bombs and books read and people listening and listening to people and TED talks and a mindset reset and running and striving and trying to be and prove that I am enough – acceptable … lovable even – came to a freakin’ end.

I am. Acceptable.
(I finally accept the whole wonder of me even though I blush writing this.)
Quirky.
Worthy of love.
(At least my own, which I’ve decided to give myself as an early Christmas gift.)
Kind-hearted.
Confident.
Feminine.
A good friend.
Healthy.
Covered in Izzy’s dog hair and looking at a pile of dishes waiting in the sink.

And even if I weren’t all these nifty things, I’d still be worth loving. Even if the people who were given me first could not find a way to love or protect and not exploit me. I have decided to accept and love me. As is. The work has been done.

I got this.

I got home. And it lives in me. 
It always has. I just didn’t know it. 

And that uncomplicates a lot.

*   *   *

A few resources I’ve used recently to wrap up my quest for home (<click this link). Please note: I’ve read so much and searched for so long, there was so much to untangle and frankly, this sense of finally coming home surprised me. But I’ll take it.

Mindset Reset with the authentic and quirky Mel Robbins. Check out her TED talk first if you want to know why I opened myself to hear what she had to say. I found it after a boy broke my heart and that led to my heart-breaking in a way that decades of sorrow spilled out.

Narnia Chronicles– with special emphasis on “The Horse and His Boy.” Check out the scene where the young orphan is running along an unfamiliar treacherous mountain pass in blinding fog with a mission to warn of a blistering enemy’s approach. To say these stories likely kept me alive from a very young age – gave me hope that my story might one day be beautiful, too – is no exaggeration.

The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Hours walking Izzy. Rescue a dog or offer to take your kids’ pup while they are abroad. You’ll feel better and if you are like me – a bit overwhelmed by the soul-suck of loneliness and shitty stories you believed of who you were – a fuzzy allergen will create space and companionship enough so you have the energy to deal with your last layers of rubbish.

This quote:  “I’ve never seen any life transformation that didn’t begin with the person in question finally getting tired of their own bullshit.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

And hours with friends, decades of believing and searching through a book that was supposed to be a pathway to a god I could not see.

Most enduringly: The love of and for Magpie and Kenan: this kept me going and from laying in the street when the dark rose higher than my tired arms could swim above.

Rest easy friends. This is home. I hope you find it. In you. 
Much love,
Al.


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