It was love at first sight – the Caribbean Sea. A girlfriend and I celebrated her birthday on Barbados. We made friends with the locals, navigated roundabouts while driving on the wrong side of the street, sampled the island rum, and won prizes dancing and guessing famous songs. I purchased a beautiful amber bracelet with matching earrings from a man on the beach. But mostly we bronzed in the sun and played in that divine water. Water ski. Jet ski. Snorkeling. Sitting still, admiring.
I cried when we left.
And maybe I shouldn’t have, because my tears brought me back. Daddy died suddenly. Friends, family and serendipity brought me to St. Maarten to mourn. The water was a little unsettled there, or perhaps it was my broken heart. But it was healing, nonetheless. The sight of it. The smell of it. The feel of it. The taste. The sound…
Weeks after my return home, I couldn’t sleep without hearing it. I still have the nature sounds clock on my nightstand a half decade later.
And so today when someone asked, Where would you like to go? I immediately imagined those gorgeous waters. St. Lucia.
I don’t know who, if anyone will accompany me when I go. But I shall go for love.
Are you a people person? Do you feel energized or drained around people?
I’m an introvert. This means I get energized (or re-energized) when I have alone time. Solitude. But this does not mean I’m not a people person, because I am. I’m a teacher and I love it. I’m a spiritual coach and I love that. I like hanging with friends when our schedules and locations coincide. But there comes a time when I get overloaded and it becomes too much.
When I can take a whole day to myself, I do. I spend the day alone exercising, reading, running errands, playing on the internet, basking in the sun, and catnapping. I call it self-care.
When I can’t take a day, I steal away as I can. Case in point. This week has been busy for me. I’ve had meetings and home visits and gatherings and just nonstop “with peopleness.” Today I reached my limit. The cacophony of noises, voices, music didn’t help matters. Although I was “on duty,” during a slow period, I was able to secret myself away in my car for about 20 minutes. It was all I needed to refresh and finish the rest of my shift in high spirits. Twenty minutes seems to be the magic number.
When I feel the overload of other people’s energy, I clear it in nature. I sit in the sun for about 20 minutes, or walk (or play) in thick green grass if any is around. I nap by the ocean or, favorite of all, sit in its salty waters. I like people just fine, but whenever I can, I also love to be with just me.
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.
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.
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.