Last night I looked at my friend Amy. I mean you may not think a whole lot about looking at someone; you see people all the time. The difference is, last night I looked at my friend Amy for the first time in nearly seven months – in the same way I looked at so many people over the course of my holiday stint at home. Abolishing the nearly 2,200 miles between us, time had passed in nearly the blink of an eye. Suddenly the people who were merely voices on the other end of a phone, people who had gone from my every day to my every so often – they were in front of me. I had an overwhelming response to seeing people. I was so happy to be home and I also don’t think I had ever thought as Connecticut as being home, even though I spent the majority of my life there. People say home is where the heart is and I guess my heart wasn’t there for a long time.
I just never connected to it. I know it was the place I was born and raised but I never really held it to much esteem and when I was there I was always pretty focused on getting out. As a result I ended up going to school in New Hampshire, moving to Utah thereafter, and it was a complete and total surprise to me when I ended up living in Connecticut again in 2011. It wasn’t exactly the most smooth ride, I struggled before I strived at first but eventually I found myself, my people, and my place.
I realize now that I’ve received the biggest gift of all. My name is Tanya and I’ve got a huge heart. Like it’s engorged and I think maybe I should have an EKG, or a specialist check it out. When they say home is where the heart is, the fact of the matter is this: I’ve got pieces of my heart in so many different places. It didn’t really hit me until I was about two days shy of leaving. I had been going full-tilt and I was exhausted, on the brink of getting sick, and run-down. My days were spent trying to appease my family, the evenings set aside for friends – it was this delicate balance that I totally nailed but at the same time depleted me.
Anyways, I walked in the door and made it about two steps before I started sobbing. My Mother suddenly appeared as though I’d given the bat signal for emotional disturbance. “What’s wrong?” Roseanne asked. “Nothing,” I managed to muster through my hiccuping tears. “Talk to me,” she said like Uncle Jesse answering his phone on ‘Full House.’ “It is not that anything is wrong,” I began, “It’s that everything is right but I have to start saying goodbye tomorrow and I’m not okay with it.” As Roseanne would typically do, she skimmed the surface of the statement and replied with “Well move back then!”
I tried to greet her with compassion, to not roll my eyes or shake my head and instead I gently said this: “Mom, I’m so happy in Utah, that goes without saying. It’s changed me in ways I needed to change and been beyond what I even imagined it would be. I’m blessed every single day of my life – to be surrounded by the people I am surrounded by, and for the space that I am in.”
I have a dog I love, a job that I am passionate about and see going places, salt of the motherfucking earth friends, an adorable abode, and am genuinely better than I’ve ever been. However, coming home definitely brought up a lot of emotion. I had a lot of things going for me in the Nutmeg state, it wasn’t geographically ideal, but life doesn’t have to be perfect to be absolutely wonderful.
So I looked at Amy and said this: “What is it you want to leave in 2013?” We’d immediately quarantined ourselves from the very own party she was hosting because we needed to. “Um…” as she trailed off into ‘I don’t know’ territory I realized in her indifference that the question at hand was completely irrelevant and made me realize my own answer. “I’m not leaving anything behind,” I said, “I’m taking all my shit and I’ll figure it out next year.”
Sure we can resolve things because it is a New Year, but I prefer to resolve things practically everyday. If I had to sit with it, and god knows I have the time to do so; packed on this plane like a sardine – I would say this:
I resolve to be true to myself always. I promise to not forget that things like happiness and change do not come to those who are patient or those who wait; but those who do something about it. I resolve to love myself, be kind to others, and practice compassion. I will continue to nurture and take care of myself above all else. I will laugh too much, be frivolous and silly, and put my trust in the universe. I will keep my heart open even if doing so invites risk and hurt. It is better to love and lose than never love at all. At the bare minimum failure gives you the opportunity to thrive again, even if it sucks a little in the interim.
I choose to move forward in a positive direction, but also allow the shitty days to happen. I vow to continue to sit in things like sadness and frustration, but never to dwell. I will never stop feeling my feelings because I couldn’t even if I tried. I resolve to not forget the profound effect people have and continue to have on me, and likewise – the effect I have on other people. I will continue to love and pull from my circle, whether they are living in the same town, house, or state as me. I will continue to love and pull from my circle even if they’re a 5-hour plane ride away (PS: no complimentary drinks on New Year’s Day? What is this, prison?)
People can still give you a lot even when they are far away, and Christ on Crutches – does distance make the heart grow fonder. My hearts a pretty healthy size right now and even though I am leaving a lot behind, I’m not really because no one is going to cease to exist in my absence and they’ll be waiting there on the other side, the next time I come around. To an amazing trip, and an even better journey. To the past, present, and future – Happy New Year!