Homecoming… 6 years later…

Today marks 6 years since I packed my life into a shipping container in Miami and hopped on a plane. Hurricane Frances was looming just off the coast and MCO airport was about to be closed. I looked out at the clouds and through little tears, said goodbye to the past 7 years of my life. In that time, I’d made a home, friends, memories… a life. I bravely admit to myself however that it had become stagnant, it was now time to grow and move on. A recent college grad, I decided that home, my real home, was where I’d start the next part of my journey. Next stop… sweet, sweet Jamaica.

Fast forward 6 years… I looked at my son this morning and it dawned on me that I could never have imagined being here when I landed that day. It was almost a year ago (birthday party soon!!) that my journey took this turn, and I’m happy to say I’m learning to throw my hands up on the rollercoaster ride, no matter how scary letting go might be. I owe a lot of this to my “army” – the family and friends who have scolded me, supported me, and simply been “there” through it all. They’ve helped me learn an important lesson – I’m not perfect, but I’m doing the best I can. That reminder that my doubts are understood but my faith must be stronger than my doubts has really helped recently.

I still catch myself getting overwhelmed at times – projects at work, rearranging the house (again) trying to get it to feel just right, a fussy teething baby, balancing the budget, and even just finding the energy to make dinner some nights. Lately, I’ve thrown myself into birthday party mode – I’m really excited and trying to restrain myself :). But that last moment every night seems to balance every joy and every frustration. Every night before I jump in bed, I go and look at the little boy sleeping in the crib and marvel at his contortions and simply that I had a hand in that little miracle. It’s funny how something so simple brings the most peace.

For a long time I’ve complained that all I want is a peaceful life. I’ve had it all along. Yes, there are really good days and really bad days, but that’s life! If everything was perfect all the time, I figure it would become quite dull. Everything has its time and place, and yes, people and situations will drive you up a wall from time to time. To rob a quote (I don’t remember where from): “It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you deal with what happens to you.” It may well feel like it’s just one drama, one issue after another. Look at them one at a time, and tackle them one at a time. Learning what to attack head on and what to leave alone is a trick I find comes with time – I’m still in the early stages of this one, but I’m learning. There will always be trials and challenges as the journey takes its twists and turns. Patience was never one of my virtues, but (again) I’m learning. I’m still short on it where it counts sometimes, but at least I can see that now for myself.

So on my 6th anniversary of my homecoming, I can honestly say I’ve found the peaceful life I’ve been looking for all along. Happiness isn’t a final destination, it’s everyday and it really feels good to know that I understand that now. It’s no longer a good quote in an email, or message from a friend, or even something you read or see on TV. It’s reality – life really is what you make it. I’d like to say thanks to everyone who have been a part of the journey thus far. To those who are still here, the journey continues… hosted by Cookie Monster 🙂

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