Tribe Tuesday: Homecoming: reflections from SFO

IMG_9392I have not seen them yet, but I am not going to want to spend one minute on the computer once I get home today. We’ve all heard “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” and there is nothing but truth to this saying.

I miss Tom like I miss air when I’m underwater.

I left Oregon feeling so depleted of energy. I had not an ounce left to give anyone. I made my exit rapidly, and didn’t make sure everyone knew-especially Tom-how much I’d miss them.  It made him sad, and that makes me sad.

As I reflected on this, I realized that I would have been exceptionally hurt if he’d acted the way I did. I was so wrapped up in my plans and Piper graduating and packing and finishing school that I didn’t spend a second to tell him how much I’d miss him. I didn’t tell him how fortunate I was that I had him, how grateful I was that I could do this trip and that he’d hold down the fort. That he was my person. I simply kissed him quickly goodbye and got on the plane.

Truth be had, I was so fucking tired and depleted I didn’t have anything left for anyone. But that’s still no excuse. It’s not okay. When you love someone, and they love you back, you need to sacrifice a little to attend to them.

I spent my second week in Mexico soul-searching after my first week on a whirlwind tour through all the coolest things to see in CDMX.  I thought deeply about what was in my heart, what I needed to say goodbye to, and what I can’t live without.

I knew this is what my trip would be, so at least I was prepared.  I knew I’d play tourist for a while, and then my demons would crawl out and make me face the music.

Oh did I cry. I cried all the tears. I walked down streets of Coyoacán with tears dripping off my cheeks, listening to U2, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, Nirvana, Pearl Jam. I was intentionally listening to all my big-feels music from college. I felt like a world-class asshole. I had been gently called out on my shit, and I decided to accept it instead of trying to find someone else at fault. I wrote in my journal with urgency and fury, so much so that people asked me many times in CDMX if I was a writer. I wrote and wrote and wrote in that journal. I admitted things to myself that I try to hide, and just let those feelings see daylight instead of trying to pretend they don’t exist.


But. I lived. And I made some discoveries. Maybe, just maybe, some of my habits of mind are really just habits, not personality traits.

Maybe some of the things I thought were a big part of who I am are really, actually, almost completely 100% accurately identified as survival skills I’ve learned to keep from getting rejected, hurt and destroyed by trusting and loving people. Yes, that’s a lot of qualifiers. I had to spend over a year identifying this shit, so I’m kinda proud of it.

I own up to being a scared shitless human. A human that just wants to be loved.

I’ll likely get rejected, hurt and destroyed in my life no matter what I do.  I may as well let these fears go and enjoy the good stuff when it’s here.

I know I can’t live without love.

Love is the only thing that makes life have any purpose at all, and the love I get from this amazing man and the life we built together is something I don’t ever want to take for granted again. I made him feel horrible, with my wandering and my quiet and my desperate searching over the last year. I’m sure he would not have felt horrible if I’d done it with more grace. What I found, oh so sweetly, is that home was there in front of me, the whole time.

Thanks, God. You’re sneaky.


This is the vision board I made for myself in December, 2017. The corner right says,

Home Murmurs, “where have you been?”

And I cannot help but say;

“Away looking for you.”

-Noor Unnahar


I sit here in SFO writing this blog post, I’m listening to my Coyoacán mix again. A young dude is next to me rocking out on my mix. He’s moving to the music the same way I am. He does not have ear buds in. He’s kinda all ADHD twitchy like me. He ate his burrito like he had a tiger chasing him, then he started jamming out to what I was listening to. He can hear it somehow,  and I can tell he likes my music because when Beck’s Loser came on it was like his siren song.  He started drumming on the counter we’re at, and rocking his head to the beat. The guy is maybe 25. I’m listening to music that came out when he was a toddler, but music knows no age limits.

THIS. This is what traveling does. It bumps us up against people and their stories. It is the best education imaginable, and I can’t stop.

However—next time I go on an adventure of this length, I am going to save enough money to take Mr. Love with me. Everyone deserves to have their minds broadened. And OH, what fun that will be.






1 thought on “Tribe Tuesday: Homecoming: reflections from SFO

  1. Love this reflection.

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