Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Ocean View

Today, I am sick.  Sitting in front of me is my Wonder Woman medicine chest full of zinc tabs, Umcka, vitamin C tabs, some Vick's chest rub, some Advil Cold & Sinus and some cough drops. Beside that is my knitting that I haven't touched in well over a week, a hot cup of echinacea green tea, and a roll of toilet paper that isn't quite as soft as tissues but will suffice.  Even though when I was packing all this medicine I didn't really think I would need to use it, I now know why I did and am glad I chose not to toss it.  There are a few things that I really wish I had with me, but mostly, I did a good job packing.  I have everything I need (and possibly a little bit more).  I've purchased nothing really besides food since I was here so for the most part, I have nothing extra to carry back.  I did have to pick up some extra long tent stakes in efforts to salvage my outdoor kitchen that was at the mercy of my mosquito net during the storm.  Luckily these little things are not space hogs.  (And luckily, they worked when I needed them to most.)

I'm looking forward to my trip home but really pondering what the reality of what being home will mean.  So many people have offered me a place to stay and I'm thinking that I may end up taking people up on their offers.  I never offer such things unless I mean it so I can only hope that this is the case in return.  I'm learning to accept help when offered instead of being so stubbornly independent.  This lesson is one of the only things that allowed to me to make this journey.  If I didn't have help from my friends in weeding out my apartment for the yard sale, I never would have gotten out of my apartment when I did, saving me another month's rent, and affording me the ability to travel.  If my friends didn't show up to the yard sale to buy my stuff, I wouldn't have had enough money to get me over until the next paycheck.  If I didn't accept their generous donations of items or money, I never would have been fully equipped to make the journey.  If I didn't have my grandmother's garage, I wouldn't have been able to keep some things that are irreplacable.  If I didn't have solid friends who I can call at anytime of the night when I'm sad or scared or lonely or having a panic attack, I'm not sure how I would have made it as far as I have.  When I once again started being stubbornly independent is when things turned awry, and I am unbelievably thankful for this wisdom.

And while indeed I am sick with some kind of respiratory infection, I realize that I am also homesick (but perhaps this is transparent).  Every contact to or from home reinforces this.  The funny thing is that it has taken moving hundreds of miles away to be closer to my loved ones than I was when I lived in the next town.  And while I've lived in some of the most exciting places in the US (however brief), the only thing that has ever made a place worth living has been the friends and family with whom I surround myself; not a job, a beach, nor the city life.  This isn't to say that I didn't enjoy living in some of these other places, because I did.  It just now dawned on me the significance of what it is exactly I walked away from when I left Charleston.  I just hate that it took such extreme measures to allow me realize this. Apparently when it was staring me in the face, I was too blind to see it and too numb to feel it.

So when I go home, will I still call my family every day (that is, if I'm not rolled up on their couch)?  Will I perhaps visit them at least once a week for more than an hour at a time?  Will I see my friends as much as I did when they were rallying to help me prepare for my adventure?  Prior to this move, I never allowed the time needed for any of these relationships.  I was always too busy keeping myself busy.  Maybe this time, I will be able to get my priorities in order?  That's wishful thinking, but lifestyle changes have to start somewhere.

This post almost sounds like I'm talking myself into staying there when I get home.  I still intend to move on once I get there as my adventure doesn't yet seem quite complete.  Where I will go, I'm not entirely sure.  I have a couple of prospects.  One WV bound and the other, the west coast.  I'm looking forward to seeing what pans out.  I'm not really planning much because you know what 'they' say about best laid plans.  However, if there's one thing that I do plan on, it's that nothing ever ends up how you plan it, so I will do my best to enjoy the process.  (That's a huge step from the self-crowned queen planner.)

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