I woke up this morning in California, home.
Yesterday, I woke up in New York, home.
I’m starting to get it…and the only way I could, was to go, to fill up my passport, to fill up my gas tank, to dog-ear maps…to let all the love in.
To remember. and to release. To do both, always.
What I know now…is I am always coming home.
I have lived in California now for just over 2-years, I have gone back to NY 3 times now. Each trip has been very different.
The first time I went back I had been in California for just a few months…what I remember about coming back was that it was summer, that I was sad, but that I was also falling in love…for the first time in a long long time. I was falling in love with a kind man with blue eyes, and laugh lines. Coffee on Sundays, and pulling myself into where I fit, right by his heart, I knew it, cause he told me. And cause that’s where he held me. I love you, he said. And smiled. Kissed the top of my head. He was so certain. And I listened for those 3-words at the end of all our conversations, the way you wait for your favorite line in a song…the way you know that line is coming, but still, you can hardly wait to hear it. And so, in a handful of July days in NY I was falling in love, and said his name to all my friends who leaned in close and ordered extra bottles of wine so we had the time and haze to catch up.
I was sad though, because I wasn’t home yet in California, and I didn’t understand how to fall in love somewhere I did not feel home. I was somewhere between NY and CA, often drifting back to months prior when I lived in Kenya. I was everywhere…but mostly, I was nowhere.
You cannot fall in love as it is intended when you cannot put your hands on the ground and dirt in your hands, and trust that this is the sun…this is the sun now.
And on this trip home, I remembered feeling sad because I knew that…but I didn’t know how, and I deeply wanted to be folded into the space where this man held me, I deeply wanted to believe it when he told me, but I also…deeply wanted to come home.
I wasn’t tethered to anything. And eventually I blew away.
I leaned up against my kitchen cabinets the night I stopped believing him when he said he loved me, listened to the door close, his feet move down the hall, and felt relief when I couldn’t hear him anymore.
I didn’t need anymore proof.
I had gotten lost again.
I put a glass of whiskey up to my lips, disinterested in being drunk, but too sad to be aware. I was somewhere in between, and stayed that way for a while.
I thought back to what I had told all my friends a few months back in NY…knowing now, that the next time I came home, I’d have to say again into my hands, I got lost again. And I was alone.
That first trip home, people would ask me all the time, ‘when are you coming back home?’ (meaning NY) and I heard their words, cause I had heard those words rumble, loud, and disruptive through my body for years and years.
I don’t know…is all I could offer. I know they were just trying to be kind, but I hated that question.
My second trip home to NY was last summer….and on these days in July, I felt so good. I was in a job I felt very connected in, interviewing for my dream job, and though I was not in love. I felt safe, and cared for. My friendship circle was growing, and I had a handful of friends who I could walk into their kitchen, and grab a beer, put my elbows on the counter, and talk about the day. I did try to leave…a few times…interviewed for a job in Seattle I didn’t get, thought about heading to the ocean…didn’t go. I did the unnatural thing, I stayed.
In that year, lots of babies arrived, my friends became momma’s. I held soooooo many babies, and snuggled their little bodies to my heart and kissed the top of their heads. They fell asleep on me, and spit up on me, smiled at me, and reached for my nose. Boobs came out at kitchen tables, conversations were split up into many more parts, and what we talked about, changed…a lot. I welcomed the change. This trip was a good one.
People still asked me, so, when do you think you’re coming home?
And I smiled, I said. ‘I don’t know’ But this time, the question did not make me angry.
I started to see that my life was not in NY. That I liked the way my life looked and felt in California.
I still felt lost…but more so, on purpose if that makes any sense.
And so just a few yesterday, on my third trip home, I dropped right into a NY spring. I spent an entire day at the place that has taught me the most about being home…breathe yoga. I was given the day to share with an amazing, inspiring group of yoga teachers…and we talked about strength and grace…and I am frankly, so grateful, and so proud of myself for holding a space for people to come free in. and how beautiful to do it in the very space where I started to come free.
Life is beautiful that way.
You know what’s funny…know one asked me when I was coming home, this time. Maybe after 2-years pass it stops being a question. But more so, after 2-years, I have found what I know home to be. And so, I am that. And we don’t ask the questions if the person in front of us has the answers in the way they stand, say, and move.
Home is not.
It’s not an address, as I so frantically sought as a solution for so many years.
It’s not a specific city.
It’s not a job title.
It’s not being able to drive the backroads home.
It’s not living in the same place as the people who knew you when….
And by the way, all those things are so nice. But I no longer need them as much as I needed before.
Before, when I got lost all the time, and I was sad, often, and looked for any of the above…to explain a deep sense of lonely I walked around with like a big secret.
Best friends and dinner tables.
Starting something, and completing it.
Saying yes, even when it’s scary.
People that walk beside you.
Kitchen dance parties.
Red wine and coffee.
Dark beer and back porches.
Being loved and loving.
Small corner stores.
White lights in the backyard.
These old floors.
New paint on the walls.
People addressing invites to ‘Lyndsey & Moose’
Running across the room to hug someone.
Losing my breath from laughing so hard.
Believing that I belong.
This is the most grounded I have felt in years…I have a backyard where I plant things, best friends who I adore, I teach yoga and fucking love it, I go the park, I walk miles and miles each day with Moose. For my friends that aren’t here, I pick up the phone and I call them.
I say I love you. I say how are you. I say (and mean) you feel like home to me.
I am still untethered. But it doesn’t alarm me as much, anymore.
I have defeated (some) old beliefs.
My life doesn’t have to be summed up in an address.
My deep desire to move, change scenery, and talk for hours with strangers…does not mean that I am not fit to have a partner, and a sweet baby who’s head I kiss the top of and who has more passport stamps than most 40-year olds. A baby who grows into a child who knows, cause we told her again and again and again…the world is so big, little one, and I will do everything I can on this planet as your momma so you can see as much of it as you want.
I am defeating old beliefs that run deep.
Of course I know how to fall in love. I am deeply deserving and worthy.
I can ask for help.
I am not alone.
I am a contribution.
I have something important to say.
I can effect deep and powerful change.
I have family in NY and Kenya and CA…and everywhere in between. Sure we don’t share a family tree, but we share everything else. Some of the people I love the most, I have never even met in person…not in a weird catfish kind of way…but in a, I work for a giant company, with magnetic people, and some of those magnet hearts…they’re all over the country…kind of way.
My ability to experience, allows others the space and courage to do the same.
I could leave this all tomorrow. Spin the globe and pick a new address. But for the first time in as far as I can remember, I don’t want to.
I keep asking for what I want…and my goodness if I don’t just keep on receiving.
On my knees. Dirt in my hands. The whole world here.
For me…my path has taken me around the globe, god willing, it will continue to…some don’t ever need to leave a place they love to know they are home. Some do.