Be true.

30 Day Blog Challenge, Personal Narrative

Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?

If you summon your courage to challenge something, you’ll never regret it. How sad it would be to spend your life wishing, “If only I had a little more courage.” Whatever the outcome, the important thing is to take a step forward on the path that you believe is right. There’s no need to worry about what others may think. It’s your life, after all. Be true to yourself. ~Daisaku Ikeda

I first saw this quote in the November 2012 issue of Living Buddhism magazine. Sae Chonabayashi said it encouraged her to pursue her dreams. It encouraged me to do the same. At the time I read the piece, I was at a crossroads; I was unsure about quite a few things. That quote resonated, and I got clear on next steps in a hurry.

Life is short and no one wakes up in my skin every morning except me. I have plans and dreams, and it’s quite possible they won’t work out as I’d like…but I have to try.  I’ve always been one to play it safe. But safe isn’t always satisfactory, and time passes way too quickly these days for me to waste it in any state of dissatisfaction. So whatever the outcome, in eleven days, I’m moving forward on a new path.

I embrace possibilities and love.

To thine own self, be true.

NaBloPoMo March 2013

Home, revisited. A meditation.

Personal Narrative

I pressed the lap button at 2.5 miles, only to find out I was never keeping time. I did what I sometimes do in circumstances like this…I stopped running. I had gotten off to a much later start than usual, so the sun was bright overhead, and walking a few paces in the cheerful warmth was a welcome commune with nature. I spotted fish, not merely jumping, but seriously engaged in sport and one-upmanship. I spoke to a couple of ducks on the trail. The easy pace and beautiful scenery got me in a meditative mood. I mused about home.

What is home, exactly? A place or a moment that resonates. It’s gathering of old friends around a good game of Taboo. A visit to the tried and true corner barbershop one Saturday morning.  Sometimes home is less fleeting. It’s a city where sunshine runs rampant. A house you’ve built with your partner. Whenever, wherever your heart feels welcomed and your spirit feels at ease, is home.

Home has been on my mind as of late. I’m unsettled. That’s a bit of a revelation, because I was drawn to my current city. I quite literally ached to be here. And when I moved here (for the second time) it resonated so strongly with me, I was loath to be away for any period of time. I was home.

But life is for the living and circumstances have changed. As beautiful as my surroundings are, they no longer seem to fit where I am internally. How it can be – a place I still love no longer resonates? I think it’s because this home was for healing. I needed to be here, in the sunshine, near the salty water. I had old wounds to tend. Wholeness to restore.

And then I learned to love again.

This space, my healing place, no longer carries the same resonance. My heart feels more welcomed and my spirit feels more at ease in other spaces. This home no longer feels like my home.

Yet, I am happy about that.

Despite being unsettled, I do know where my heart is, and there’s no place like home.

Stream of Consciousness Sunday: Home. Again.

Personal Narrative


How do you feel about change? Do you like routine and predictability? Does it bring you comfort or discontent? Talk about it general or tell us a specific story about a big change in your life and how you feel about it.

Change is good.

But it would be a lie to say I don’t like routine and predictability – especially since I find I thrive when I impose structure in an otherwise unstructured day, activity, task, or what have you.

I want to be stable. I’ve moved quite a bit in the past several years, mostly across the Georgia/Florida line. But I don’t want to have to think to recall my “last” address. I want to put down roots.

When I don’t feel the routine, structure, or location works, a shake up is in order, and that’s exactly the case right now. I moved here in July, hauling most of my stuff, yet again, across the state line. I like my apartment quite a bit, but months after I’d settled in, I found myself still imagining, praying about, thinking about, “a home I love and can easily afford.” It surprised me, but I knew deep down I hadn’t quite found it. Enter, change.

I needed a bit of a nudge. I was just about to let myself get comfortable in this space. I had fallen into the routine of this address. Predictable. Routinized. But the renewal letter came. Rent is going up (dramatically) and I will no longer pretend this is the best place for me.

I’ve got the moving thing down. I can pack up all of my stuff in 1-2 days max, and unpack it in the same amount of time. I’m excited about house hunting. I’m ready for a change.

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
  • Link up your post below.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.

No Place Like Home

Personal Narrative

My cousin got married last fall. Like many weddings, it was an occasion for family and friends to reminisce, reconnect, and bond. The wedding reception found me tucked away in a corner with a few cousins, most notably, the beautiful, often elusive, V.  She inquired about my dissertation defense, mere days away, and my future plans. At that point I only knew I had to move. The sooner the better.

Home, Not Home
Athens had never been home to me, and Atlanta, although a great city in many ways, didn’t feel all that homey to me either. That I was born and raised there was immaterial. It wasn’t “home.”

V, a flight attendant, gushed about her love of NYC. It was her favorite city. She felt like herself there. Despite her world travels, there was no place she’d rather be. I wondered where my NYC would be. I knew it would be some place with a mild climate, near beaches, but that’s as far as I could figure.

Sunrise at Pass-A-Grille Beach

Border Crosser
I finished my Master’s degree 11 years ago. Since then I have moved seven times (four of those between GA and FL). Most of those moves were one and two year stints, and I usually knew they were temporary going in. I realized I was closer to finding home a year ago when I left St. Petersburg to return to Athens, and found myself aching for the luscious green grass, the humid, salty air, and the calming beaches. But even though there were many things I liked, even loved, about St. Pete, I still wasn’t ready to call it home.

A few weeks after the wedding, I graduated and found myself “in between.” I don’t do in between well. Job hunting and city hunting, I felt I had no clarity on next steps. Eventually it all took a toll on me and left me feeling kind of blah. Finally, I made some decisions, and in true form, the universe responded in kind. Within a few days I had a job offer, a clear path, and a new city to try out.

Where the Heart Is
This move was the first one during which I felt I were moving toward a new life. It felt permanent. Real. Settled.

I knew I was on to something when I had to visit my “hometown” (Atlanta) a few days after my move. Traveling to the airport, I was a child being dragged inside from the playground. No! Don’t wanna!

At the end of my three days there, I smiled inside, happy to be back on the plane heading back home, even though home was just a few days old.

Everyone who visits my new digs mentions how I seem poised to start a new life here. To them it feels like home.

To me too.