Years ago whenever I stopped off at a local bookstore, I’d glaze through the self-help section. I’d see titles of books along the lines of “Coming Home”, “Returning to your beginnings” or “Homebound.”
For the longest time, I never understood nor cared what those titles all meant and I’d walk on by, never curious to pick up a single one to read.
Now in my forties, I finally understand the metaphors. As I prepare myself to fly home from another long business trip, I can’t help but think about the term “Returning Home.”
It’s been a long and exhausting journey getting to where I am today. Over the past few weeks, I’ve posted a lot on social media about my personal struggles and how I’m turning the corner so-to-speak. I don’t want to sound like a broken record so I’ll just talk about my trip “home” and what it means for me.
The journey home for me simply means that I’m finally acknowledging my past. It’s taken years for me to openly talk about my struggles growing up. My childhood, all the way through the better part of my adult years have been blocked off for the longest time. I hid behind my suffering, my weaknesses and only wanting to forget all that had ever happened.
You see, the past will always catch up to us. Whether they’re about our mistakes, other people’s mistakes or things that just happened by circumstance, we can’t change it. We also can’t ignore them and brush these things under the rug (I’m just full of metaphors and clichés today!) otherwise the weight that we carry eventually becomes too heavy. It’s why we use the term “baggage” to describe our problems. Well, how about unloading that baggage so you can travel a little lighter?
How well do people really know you? Sure, you may say that it’s none of their business to know the true depths of you. But what are you afraid of sharing? What are you uncomfortable with? Are you embarrassed or afraid of being judged?
It’s an incredibly refreshing feeling to be able to share things about myself that I never did before. Some people have asked me, “aren’t you afraid of what people might think?” or “why would you openly talk about your negative behaviors?…have you lost your mind??”
Like Ebenezer Scrooge said in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, “I haven’t taken leave of my senses…I’ve come to them.”
I feel like myself more than ever before. There’s a sense of clarity and purpose in my direction these days. This is partly because I feel as though I’m returning home to the person I truly am. At this stage, I’m not afraid of judgment nor criticism which my story could make me a prime target for. I’m accepting myself and that’s liberating.
I’ll leave you with this quote that I love and was thinking about the other day while going for a walk:
It’s by Gandalf the Grey in the Fellowship of the Rings by JRR Tolkien. In the scene where he’s speaking to the young hero, Frodo, Gandalf imparts some wisdom when Frodo is feeling discouraged about the uncertainty of the future.
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”
It’s so simple and poignant at the same time. I like to make use of my time by discovering who I am and imparting what I’ve learned. There’s so much more that awaits me, and I welcome it with open arms.