I’m Still Here

I left an empty house to wait in a crowded terminal.

I flew 2,901 miles, then drifted for nine hours before flying another 5,607 miles.

I ate my favorite burger while riding in the biggest pick up truck I’ve ever been in.

I lived out of a suitcase, slept in someone’s living room, and caught an annoying cold.

I walked through the doors of my childhood home and couldn’t decide if I liked what I was feeling.

I walked along the shores of my favorite coast line and thought only of the water and the sun and the sand and the people in my heart.

I walked into grocery stores shelved with ten types of bread and two types of ramen. I pushed a heavy cart with a dazed look through The Home Depot as I realized–again–that I live here now.

I slowly set up my room–in a temporary form. Pictures Scotch taped to the walls. Books and movies lined up on the floor. Wrinkled clothes pulled from suitcases and hung in a closet that feels twice as small as it used to. A borrowed bedside table that doesn’t do much to help the clutter.

I’ve generally felt too overwhelmed to make a plan or feel like I’m moving forward.

I’ve panicked–genuine hyperventilation, requires-medication-to-calm-me-down panicked.

I’ve been angry.

I’ve been confused.

But I’ve also walked between the shelves of the library I grew up begging Mom to take me to.

I’ve eaten Mexican food as often as I like.

I’ve eaten chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream that didn’t cost me an arm and a leg.

I’ve been to the Farmer’s Market and eaten delightfully fresh strawberries, nectarines, and kettle corn.

I’ve sat in coffee shops with friendly baristas and pleasant ambience.

I got to talk to my brother on the phone.

I’ve texted my close friends who live throughout the US.

I’ve been blessed by the hospitality and generosity of so many people.

So yeah, it’s been hard, and sometimes I feel like I’ve gotten nowhere.

But I’m still here.