As I sit in a coffee shop watching the sunrise over Bell Rock in Sedona, I am two days from being home. Rather unexpectedly too. I had intended on staying on the East Coast for a while longer and keeping my car there while flying home for Christmas, but plans changed. Granted, these plans had always been highly subject to change due to the nature of travel nursing. There are things I want to and feel I should be around for at home in the next few months, so, at least until April, I will be home in San Diego.
I have taken my time driving home, stopping along the way to see some beautiful things and visit with some beautiful people. I spent the day in Gatlinburg and Nashville, TN, finally visited my Aunt and Uncle in Texas, went back to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico (a place I have wanted to return to since visiting about 10 years ago with family), Sedona, Az, and head to my Oma and Opa’s tonight. I will be home tomorrow in time for a family birthday party and the Christmas season.
As strange as it seems, I think this is the most nervous I have been since I have started traveling. There is something about the expectations associated with returning home that has me on edge. I love my home. I love my family. I love my friends. I am so excited to spend time with them. It’s not that I have changed in many dramatic ways, or am an entirely different person, but I have changed. It is easy, in many ways, to walk into a place as an entirely new face. There is less pressure. And this pressure is mostly something I put on myself, but it still exists. As I have been traveling, I have discovered it is not too challenging to find a fit wherever I end up. It takes time and work, but I can find friends and a community in which I feel comfortable. At the same time, there is never going to be a place in which I feel 100% comfortable or as if I belong. I think this is the nature of life in general, there will always be unmet expectations, assumptions, and conflict when it comes to reconciling who I am and what I believe with where I am and the places I spend my time. I am continually learning and being stretched in this life, and as valuable as it is, it often means I find myself with many more questions than answers. The battle is not letting those questions stop me.
So, I’ll be home for Christmas. And I am so excited to be home. I stole the title for this post, I believe, from a Hallmark movie where it was a passing line. I liked it. San Diego County is a good place to be from. It is a good place to be returning to. I have no idea whether it will be the place I will stay.