Being in New Jersey is a glimpse at everything that could have been, everything that never will be, and everything I would have lost by not leaving and letting go. Leaving home was challenging. Returning home each time is more challenging. Some things have changed, but many things have stayed the same. Any changes are so subtle that I’d never notice them if I had been here. I only notice changes because I am far away. I notice changes that are unnoticable to the naked eye. I notice things that would go unnoticed in day to day life. When you are gone and return any small changes seem shockingly sudden.
I used to be homesick for places I’d never been. I used to get lost in my thoughts– daydreaming about a life I felt like I would never have. I was trapped in a reality that was manufactured by my surroundings and not by my heart’s desire. I used to have very clear visions of an alternate reality. These visions were so strong that I could feel the joy I was manifesting in my mind. And then, something would pull me back into reality and that manifestation of joy would slip away. I spent years settling for less than I wanted, less than I deserved, and living a surface level life. My soul was crushed and my spirit was broken. I spent years suffering through rejection, struggling to find joy, and being vertical in a horizontal world.
Coming home will always be emotionally charged. It’s a reminder that our heart’s desires are real and authentic joy does exist. I’m no longer homesick for places I’ve never been because those places have become my home. Now, I find myself feeling homesick for the gemstones that I cherished while I was longing for authentic joy. We miss our family. We miss the few good friends we have left here. I miss going to the coffee shop and running in Pitman. I miss coaching in New Jersey. I miss my beloved green house. Any changes to these things break my heart because they are the gemstones that kept me from breaking while I was daydreaming my way into a different reality. Whenever I come home I look for them. I collect fragments of the gemstones and cherish them all while knowing that I’ll never fully be able to have a whole gemstone ever again. I’m at peace with the fragments; I’d rather have a fragmented gemstone than a fragmented life.