Sunday, January 5, 2014

The map in my room

A map of the United States hangs on a wall in my bedroom. Heart stickers, the glittery kind, mark the spots of where my out of state friends and family live. Before I drift off into dreamland every night, I stare at the map, thinking of my friends and praying for them. Some of them I have not spoken to in quite a while. Others, I am constantly texting. But no matter the distance, or the frequency of our communication , they will never lose their spot on my map..or in my heart.

Other times, when I am sad, or overwhelmed, or anxious to get out of the cold weather, I look at the map and plan my escape route. Where would I go? To a cabin in the moutains of Vermont? To a hipsterish loft in Seattle, where I could jump in puddles and drink my Venti skinny vanilla latte from the original Starbucks? To a studio apartment in Nashville, walkng distance from the Bluebird Cafe? There are so many possibilities, and possibilities give me hope.

I have no actual plans of escaping. Sure it might be fun to one day throw all my stuff into a Uhaul and head south on 75, but right now, that is all just simply a thought.

As tired, cold, and overwhelmed as I get sometimes here in Michigan, it is home. It is everything I know. I have built a life here. Some of it was handed to me, through my parents and family, but it has been primarily up to me to make it what it is.

I know a lot of people who have moved and built a life for their own in ther new home. My brother, for instance, went to college in Indianapolis, 5 hours away from us, and has lived there ever since. He made friends there, gotten an amazing job (and a few promotions!) and met his now wife there. One day, they will raise their children there.

I give my brother, and other friends who have moved away, a lot of credit. While I'd love to move to Nashville and write songs and stalk country stars, I don't know that I'm that brave, or that financially stable, or strong enough to leave this place behind.

Some people may call me naive or a coward, wondering how I can dismiss the idea of moving or leaving home until I try it. They may say I need to just take a risk and do it. But I simply cannot rationalize leaving what I love behind to start all over. Maybe that does make me a chicken. But I'd like to call it committed. I love it here. I love being 10 minutes away from my parents, sister, brother in law and nephew. I love living with my best friends. I love being active in my church, volunteering for Gilda's club, and discovering new breakfast places with my boyfriend. My life here is not glamorous, it is nothing to envy. I don't have a lot of money, I do not go to fancy dinner parties, I'm not anyone special. But it is a life that gives me comfort, joy, and peace. And I'm more than okay with that.

I think I'll always keep that map up in my room. It feeds my dreams and imagination, and it warms my heart to think of all my family and friends nestled in their homes across the country.

I pray that wherever you call home is a place that is happy, and full of love.

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