I've been blessed with a wandering spirit. For a long time I thought I was always searching for home, thinking that there would one day be a final landing place. But I think it's my heart that searches for that place to call home. But the wandering spirit whispers "What's next?"
I grew up in the most amazing little town. Now if you go there and look around on any ordinary day you will think I am crazy. Even some of you who grew up there think I am insane for being so in love with Silver Creek. But it's the memories made there that are permanently woven in my soul that make me yearn for home. Everything from the smell of fresh baked cookies from the Petri cookie factory that is no longer in production, to the feeling of warm breezes blowing off of the lake on a summer night. My town had all I ever needed. The best thing that I took with me when I left, the friendships I had made. Sure we all went our separate ways. Some of us have moved away and some of us stayed close. We've all gone on to do amazing things in each of our lives.
I never thought I would be the person to leave home. I never wanted to leave. I felt so safe and so happy and free there. I knew who I was and what I wanted. Until one day, I didn't. I never fell out of love with home or anything like that. I just felt this pull to see new things, to see who I could be in a new place.
I moved to Provo Utah. I packed what I could, got on a plane and followed a handsome boy to a place I had never been. What was I thinking? Well shortly after my arrival there, the handsome boy decided to move on. I was heartbroken, broke and lonely in a place that was not at all my home! I would have hitch-hiked home, but something kept me there. I met some amazing people that took me in and made me feel welcome. One amazing person who took me all over the Valley and showed me the most incredible views I didn't know could exist. I had found a new home in the most unexpected place.
About two years later, I couldn't help but feel the tug at my heart. I missed my family, I missed the old familiar friends, I missed me. So I convinced my room mate to drive with me in my very loaded little Camry from Provo back to Buffalo. We set off together, headed south. Wait what? Why would we go south to go East? Well who can leave UT without a visit to the delicate arch and the beautiful red sand desert? What a climb that was in early April. Nature is truly a mystery. Those beautiful statues not built by man are just incredible. The swirling, circling wind blowing through the caverns, creating riverbanks without any water. Just Breathe.
Driving across the country sounds boring, and to be honest, it mostly was. But the most interesting part was realizing that every little town we drove through, was someone else's home. Someone else's memories.
I stayed in Buffalo for about two years. While I was there, I picked up what I thought was going to be just another job on my already annoyingly long list of previous employment. Little did I know that this job would be my new home.
If you didn't already know this, I work for an airline. For a girl who usually drives everywhere I ever want to go, this seemed only natural. Try something new. And I did. And I continue to everyday.
I don't actually travel much, unless it's for work. But what I have done, has been so much better than staying in a hotel for a few nights.
About a year and a half into my career with JetBlue, I took a transfer to open a new city. My sister had also found her way to her new home in a very exciting place. A place that I had never even thought to think of. Everything West of the Mississippi was a mystery to me as a child. If you had to cross that river, it might as well have been beyond the stars. So when I had moved to Utah, my family acted as though I moved to another galaxy. But then, my sister moved even further West than I was.
San Francisco. San Fran what? I think there is a big red bridge that they call gold out there.
I called up the great room mate from Utah and flew her to Buffalo. Two days later, we loaded up that trusty old Camry and headed out again! I know, can you believe that? We spend days just singing along to the radio, eating interesting road food and laughing. We had some adventure, like missing a tornado by 10 minutes, seeing the most beautiful sunset in Wyoming and even almost crashing while driving my little car near Lake Tahoe in the snow. (Who needs chains on their tires?) But that view as we drove over that big beautiful Bay Bridge. The city was twinkling like fireflies in July. It hummed with the most intoxicating energy as if to tell me my life was about to change in ways I could never imagine.
I spent eight years in one of the most thrilling cities on the planet. Me. This girl. I did that. I lived there. I wandered those streets, ate at those restaurants, rocked out to bands in those clubs. And I fell in love. I fell in love with a city. The way it looks, the way is feels, the energy that is San Francisco.
I also fell madly, deeply, head over heals in love with one terrific man. Our first date was a stroll through Golden Gate Park at dusk. I mean if that isn't a sure sign of romance, I don't know what is. We spent two years in the heart of the city. We had our pizza joint, our crepe place, our regular market. We drove to Tahoe almost every weekend for a summer. We started new traditions with my sister and her family. Christmas Eve with my family, Christmas day with his. We would all go get our Christmas trees together the first Sunday after Thanksgiving, drink hot cocoa on a 90* day while we took our Christmas Card pictures. Birthday parties, Easter, all so filled with family and friends.
We eventually moved out of the city so that we could afford a little more space. We soon welcomed a beautiful baby girl, and then very soon after that welcomed a handsome baby boy. We made friends with other parents. Play dates and lunch dates. Before we knew it the day-to-day had become the week-to-week and month-to-month. And I had been spending so much time commuting to work in a tube underground that I fell out of love with the city above me.
After a lot of late night talks and many, many tears shed my wandering soul decided it was time to wander elsewhere. I took a transfer to Cleveland OH.
Upon settling into our current home, my heart tucked my wandering soul in to bed. And hopefully this soul will find peace with the lushest, greenest parks for hiking. The rivers and lakes for canoeing are peaceful and serene. The city itself is so full of life. It's thriving because people like us have decided to leave the great big cities with the highest costs of living, to move here. Where your neighbor isn't so tired from commuting four hours a day to talk to you. Where saturdays are for playgrounds with other kids and parents that are just that, parents. Nobody here is comparing themselves or each others bank statements. We are just people.
And sitting here with my window open this morning, listening to cars splash down the rain soaked street, almost one year has passed since we landed here. And my wandering soul is still at rest. And should she wake, I will put her at ease with a trip to a lake, with a canoe and a hike through a forest with two happy, energetic kids running and laughing. Because my wandering soul has the rest of my life to wander, as long as it always finds it's way back here, in our home, with our happy, energetic children.