In a new environment making new friends and new habits can be daunting. And when things don’t always turn out how you hoped, it can be discouraging. Sometimes, you just have to go home.
Home doesn’t have to be a physical place; it may be a comforting mind space that you enter with friends that knew you before life got complicated. Home is where you don’t have to repeatedly explain your intentions. And you’ve already opened doors of vulnerability so you only need to say where it hurts and they’re ready to help. At home, people remind you that your good qualities far outweigh the bad ones that you assume are the reason why your new experiences are so tough.
Years ago one of my “other moms” referred to me as her “old shoe.” She was complimenting and raving about someone new and in my insecurity I wanted to know, What about me? Her answer, You’re like my old shoe. Now, you can imagine why I didn’t find that comforting at first! Then she explained that no matter how many new shoes you add to your collection, sometimes you just want that old, favorite shoe from the closet. You never replaced it or got rid of it, because the fit is just right. Home is where I fit just right.
Since moving to Florida, I’ve experienced home in many ways. Longtime friends brought home to my front door with their visits and calls. I’ve even traveled to familiar places to eat the irreplaceable comfort foods that only home can provide. But most of all, I’ve been able to fill up on the love of family and friends in ways that I didn’t back home because of life’s demands.
Does my need for home take away from my new home? No. It helps me present myself in it as a whole person, authentic and free. The woman my husband married is a product of this place. Although we’re growing together, sometimes he needs me to go home. To not be bogged down with the insecurities that unfamiliar struggles can bring. To not hold onto the pain of misunderstanding. As our union makes us one, he knows what I need. And he knows his arms represent home in a way that only he can.
Are you experiencing uncertainty or a new struggle? In my forties, I’m finally at a place where I get more satisfaction out of being myself than I do from pleasing people. I call that the ‘miracle of 40.’ But moving to another state after 40 threatened my equilibrium and shook up my comfort zone. Where I am pretty independent, the new place birthed a new need for my friends who were now far away. What I hope to share today is that just as I did, you can find new ways to go home while you make yourself at home. When in doubt, click your heels three times and phone a friend!
You in? Let me know in the comments!