Where the Heart Is.

We spend years fighting with our siblings, growing with friends, hurting each other and then making up. A large, complicated family and friends that have come and gone, there are so many things we take for granted when we are really young. Before moving away from home, I admired my older sisters, but practically hated them. I always felt left out and ignored. But, like magic, we were all grown up and we all began to respect each other, and even became friends. Kids started coming, and we got even closer, helping each other out.

When I was 21, I joined the military, and with very little notice, I moved. First, Texas for basic training and technical school. Next, England. I got to England in October. It quickly hit me that I was going to miss Thanksgiving and Christmas with my big, nutty family. I became depressed. I started getting migraines daily, and spent most of my off time crying alone in my dorm. A week before Christmas I met my now husband. He saved me. He is the only reason I made it through the holiday, through the first few. We since moved to Georgia, and then to New Jersey. Since 2009, I have been with my big, nutty family on Christmas on once. Husband hasn’t been home even longer, and Christmas has always been hard. After our kids came, Christmases were for them.

In waves, I feel this immense pull to be with my family. The sadness can last hours, sometimes days, sometimes a week or two. I miss that feeling of people all around; kids crawling and running all over the floors; people on every chair, in every corner, and in every room; the kitchen packed. I miss knowing that the 30 or so people in the same house all love me and I love them. I miss always having somewhere to go, people to see. I tend to fall into this TV/couch stupor, which only makes it worse, because I find myself watching shows like Parenthood, Brothers and Sisters, even Full(er) House, and other family shows/movies. I love them but they just make me hungrier for that big family feeling. (Why do I do this to myself?) I pull myself back out of it eventually, remembering that we can all still love each other when we aren’t together, and that we will see each other again.

But waves don’t go away forever; something always starts them back up.

I never knew how much I loved my having them in my life, until I couldn’t anymore.

Even with all of the moving and meeting new people and then moving again, I have managed to make a few friendships that distance can’t break. These people are my family. I love them, and I miss them just as much as I miss my blood relatives.

I love you all. I look forward to seeing you all again. As soon as possible.

As soon as possible.

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Dream Hard

One of the most important thing to me is to be able to dream. Some of my most memorable recurring dreams involves flying. Flying in a dream is the most freeing, amazing feeling. There have been some especially difficult days that have left me wishing for my flying dream before bed. I close my eyes and imagine myself standing on a cliff with the wind blowing, keeping me standing, leaning slightly forward. As I am standing there, I let my body relax and imagine being in the sky, able to go anywhere. And then I jump.

The exhilarating freedom is beyond compare.

When I wake up, I keep my eyes closed, willing myself to go back to the skies.

But in life, we need to be allowed to dream. Not just in sleep. I dream about making a difference in the world, about making a good, comfortable, happy life. I am working toward it. Each day, I try to stay on this path of trying to better myself. It is the reason I have been in school, well, forever. Every time I could stop, I don’t want to. I really hope that after I get my graduate degree, I can feel done with school.

Part of the reason it has taken so long to finish school, is the fact that I changed my dreams several times. Dreams don’t have to stay the same. But I think if you want to change them, you have to REALLY be sure that you want to change. I am one of those people that can generally do well at a lot of things, and I am very interested in learning about lots of different things. It is really hard to find something you are passionate about when you have interest in everything. I have found that in my life there has always been one thing I kept going back to: language, writing, reading, words. With my medical concerns, I have had to make some changes in my life. While I am not pursuing teaching anymore, I have found something that I haven’t lost interest. I look forward to learning. I want to read my textbooks, to research about it. I know I have found my place. I never would have found it, if I didn’t allow myself to dream, to dream HARD.

Additional note: I never would have been able to dream hard without others in my life respecting my dreams, and helping me find my way. Thank you.