I went back. I was there and came back and in between those four glorious weeks I filled myself with as much energy as I could take into myself. Friends, family, people I hadn’t seen in years and those that I had only just met asking all of them to tell me anything and everything. And after I had drained them of even the slightest last detail, I spoke until the sound of my own voice became annoying and the telling of my own story started to sound ordinary, as if the far-flung moving and global crisscrossing were as common as heading into the grocery store on any given Wednesday. But, it wasn’t. It’s not.
And I remember putting the car in park, but not wanting to turn off the engine so that the air conditioning would continue to blast through me. Sitting there, looking out and allowing myself for only a moment to think about who I would have been if I had made different choices. Choices that would have kept me anchored to the place that is both a comfort and a discomfort now. Realizing that I had choices and being thankful for that, I noticed that there were weeds growing out of the pavement cracks.
I took only two photos the entire time I was there and when I returned, I realized that it wasn’t the place, but the people who I should have captured. Placed them in 4×6 spaces and smiled at them while they waved back sitting in plastic chairs at backyard barbeques and made goofy faces in dimly lit bars with sticky floors.
Because there is never enough time to gather a big enough memory of all the different personalities you wish you could just ring up and invite over for dinner. Those few minutes of posing for pictures seem like eternities wasted during the loud, buzzing moments of speech layered with laughter. Wanting to nurture and protect it, I watched while the stories and opinions I shared led to confused looks which ultimately turned into current affair jokes of which I could only shrug.
Discovering that it is as simple as making a choice, you decide to smile more because it’s better for you and it’s far more enjoyable for me. Content with your blissful ignorance, friendly with the loneliness and ever more grateful for the experiences, you realize there is nothing that you can not do.