are we falling or flying?

Maybe I’m homesick? 

I thought this as the possible explanation as I walked down from the children’s hospital last night after volunteering, and again this morning on the way to the train station.  Why do I feel so blah?  Wasn’t I just high on life last week, bouncing around the elementary school covered in paint and tape?  Didn’t I just sing praises for my 3 am alarm giving me the opportunity to send off kids and their families on well-deserved trips far, far away from hospital rooms and doctor appointments?

YES and YES, but back to the harsh reality of, well, reality- also known as the work week.  I know it’s Wednesday, but for some reason that isn’t helping too much.  So what gives?  Am I homesick?  Maybe.  I’m not sure.  Am I stressed out?  Perhaps a little but I’ve been a lot worse before.  Seriously, what’s up with this week?  Am I the only one who feels this way?

“If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.”  That darn line from The Notebook has been in my mind all day ever since I saw a Facebook-friend from high school’s status this morning: Love is patient.  Without thinking, I hit “Like”.  Hours later I’m still thinking about the line, but not in the sense of romantic love.  Instead I wonder for how long one can be patient when it comes to their passions.  How long will you wait, how much time & energy can you exert, for a dream to come true? 

I’ve spent a lot of my life dreaming,  but I’ve never believed in something as much as I do right now.  (Okay, maybe one other thing but this isn’t about him.)  I know my dream, my goal.  I know it’s attainable, but when is it going to work out?  Will I ever lose steam trying and trying and trying to catch a break?  I know it’s worth it, and the kids are worth it.  And as much as I doubt myself, I know that I am deserving and qualified to fulfill such a role. 

But unfortunately when it comes to new opportunities, sometimes we’re just a piece of paper to new eyes.  We have no soul.  No heart.  We are only the letters on the page and the words they form.  How they’re perceived is a mixture of luck, chance, and, well, luck.  The black font doesn’t always show our hopes, our dreams, our beliefs, our talents, our skills, our beauty.  If you know me, really know me, you know all of this is ‘me’- the things a piece of paper cannot always show.

Let me leave you with this thought.  When we fly the coup (ie leave our parents’ house and/or our hometown), we don’t always know our destination.  Okay, some people do so I’ll change that.  When I flew the coup 3 1/2 years ago, I didn’t know where my flight would eventually lead me.  Last night, in a weak moment on my walk home I thought, maybe I should go back to Pittsburgh.  Maybe that’s the best decision for me.  It’s not.  I know that, but at least there I know that three people help me feel like I belong somewhere, as well as the past where I first really learned to fly. 

But did I really learn to fly then, as a child, as a teen?  The world was so much smaller back then.  The sky was full of boundaries and limited opportunities.  That alone makes me realize that my wings were still clipped, hence the reason I couldn’t fully fly and therefore, young birds fall more than soar.  But that was then, and now they’re no longer clipped.  I’m free to fly wherever my wings will permit me to go.

So I decided to ‘fly’ to Cleveland this  weekend to visit Julie & Ken.  Up until a few hours ago, I wasn’t sure if it was going to work.  But when something is that important to you, like Juls is to me, you find a way to make it work.  So this little bird is headed back to O-H-I-O for some much-needed R&R, bonding, and Megabus soul-searching this weekend.  This may be the time that I decide not to come back to Chicago…we’ll see.  This bird is ready to fly, and fly she will.  Somewhere, anywhere she belongs. 

 

Are we falling or flying?
Are we living or dying?
Cause my friend this too shall pass
So play every show like it’s your last

~Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, Falling or Flying

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4 thoughts on “are we falling or flying?

  1. My dear Kristen–each and every one of us has those “weak” moments, those endless questions, those fears and those insecurities–even those of us who have “made” it and have found their dreams realized. I am living every moment of every day following my passion–but I still have those moments, hours, days and sometimes weeks where I ask similar questions, I wonder if I am truly where I belong. Living a joyful life does not consist of feeling the high or smiling all the time. It means acceptance of all of the experiences (good, bad and ugly) and being able to maintain the perspective that you have a fantastic life and are on the right path, no matter how long it may seem to be taking to “get there”. You can be happy, even if you are feeling sad or forlorn or lost–you just have to choose to be. It won’t be easy–it never is. There is no final destination–just the journey along the way. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t ask questions or strive for what your future will bring–just don’t miss the blessings of the present moments or experiences, whether they seem important or precious or not–they all matter as a collective whole. I promise you this–you will “get there”–you have too much to offer this world and so much passion not to. But I will let you in on a little secret–you’re already there! As we’ve discussed before–follow your intuition–in those silent moments (maybe on the Megabus), that little voice will guide you and will never lead you astray–take care not to ignore it or assume that you “know” better. Keep working towards your goals and plans, but let your intiuition guide you through that and don’t be afraid of new opportunities that may not look or feel like what you have planned–it may just be the catalyst to “get there”. Have a great weekend, get some R&R, and know that you are surrounded by everything and everyone that yiou need… (I know that a lot of what I’ve written may sound cliche–but sometimes, cliches are based in truth).

    1. Dina, thank you so much. I always appreciate your feedback, insight, support, perspective, reassurance, and, above all, your friendship. I hope you let me return the favor especially if/when you find yourself in moments of weakness.

  2. I’ve lived in Philadelphia for 5 years now and it’s only lately when I started getting homesick. That’s weird to say since I’m only 300 miles away from home, but I haven’t been home since July and I won’t be home again until Thanksgiving. I only see my brothers twice a year, at most, so it’s really tough to live far away from them and be isolated from their lives (to an extent).

    It’s okay to feel homesick. I think it shows how much you appreciate your family and your comfortable environment. It’s good to WANT to be around those people who make you feel happy.

    You’re in Chicago for a reason. You chose that city for a reason. Make the most of it. When it’s time to move onto another city (whether it’s back to Pittsburgh or south to Florida), you’ll know.

    1. I think our email exchange about your mom began my homesick feeling, maybe me realize that I’ve only been to Pgh for a few nights this entire year. I think it’s just one of the never-ending questions that run around in my tired mind occasionally. Question, did I tell you about Florida as a possibility, or did you come up with the flying south on your own? Just wondering. Thanks for your comment! You’re such a great friend to me!!

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