Five months ago, I made the biggest (to date) move of my life. I went from the cold mountains of Utah to the hot swamps of Louisiana. Two weeks ago, I returned home to the cold mountains of Utah for a 3 week long holiday visit. Most people ask, Can one ever really go home again? My answer to that is hell yes. For my return home, it was like I had never left. My question, however, is, Should one always go home again? This question is not a difinitive yes.
The greatest part of this visit home has been the time I have had with my 1 year old niece. She has grown and changed so much in the last 5 months, and, oh my, the personality on that girl. I could sit and watch her and be entertained for hours then hold her as she falls alseep in my arms. I don’t even mind the smattering of food she spit sprays across my face. It’s been great seeing my 10 year old niece as well, but other than imparting a few bits of wisdom and telling her she can always call me, she is a tween and more interested in her friends and Nook than her Auntie. I’m grateful for the brief moments I’ve had to catch up with my friends and with my sister. I’m glad I’ve had time to watch scifi with my dad, and though 3 weeks with my mom is about 2 weeks 5 days too long, I’m even glad to have had time to visit with her. But coming home has its pitfalls too.
I love my mother, but we get along so much better separated by 1700 miles. And my parents were bickering before we got out of the airport and haven’t stopped. I have been high stress, high anxiety, and constantly teetering on the edge of pissed off since I got off the plane, and I desperately crave the solitude of my 450sqft home. Home is definitely not a place to go if you want to relax.
Then there are those things that I was happy to leave behind in Utah when I moved. That I needed to leave behind. And it turns out those things are still poisonous and never should have been returned to.
In the last year, I have strived for healing. I’ve been to therepy, I’ve prayed, I’ve remained single. In the last week, I feel like I have regressed to the same person I was a year ago, and all the pain and bad decisions that went with her. I have no one else to blame but myself. I opened doors that I knew should have stayed nailed shut. I have put myself in situations that didn’t end well the first time, so why should they end differently the second? My motto this week is “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” I am the fool. No one else. Though I try to blame and I try to hate because it makes things hurt a little less, I know the true culprit for my pain is myself.
I long to return to my little home in swampy Louisiana. In 5 short months I have made friends and become part of a wonderful church family. What I have gained in 5 months in Louisiana took me 20 years to gain in Utah. There is a titch of pain in the swamp but not nearly the devistation I will be leaving in the mountains. Unfortunately, I will have to carry my wounds back with me to Louisiana, but there I have hope of healing.
Some say “home is where the heart is”. I don’t know where my heart is. Part of it is here in Utah with my parents, my sister, and my beautiful nieces, and some good friends. But just because a part of my heart is here, doesn’t necessarily make it home. For a long time, I believed I was never meant for Utah–we just weren’t compatable. Moving to Louisiana made that belief stronger. For now, home is not Utah but Louisiana. Not because my heart is there, but because, for now, that is where I am meant to be.
So, can one come “home” again? Always! But should one always come home? For this mountain girl living in the swamps, home has changed. Utah is not safe for me. It’s not good for me. And we are not meant for each other. I return for the pieces of my heart that will always be here. But my home, now, is where I find peace and healing.