Art on an airplane barf bag

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On our flight back to California from Colombia, my cousin, Michael, took out the barf bag, borrowed my pencil and started doodling. I’ve known him since we were kids, but I never knew he draws and I never thought he did.

And then he shows me this!

I’ve always thought of him as someone who’s great at everything he does. And he is. It’s just that a lot of times, he doesn’t see it. Or maybe he does, but he’s just perfectly fine with not making the most out of it. Or maybe that’s the only time he felt he could share his talent with me.

Whatever his reason is, I will make sure to sit next to him the next time we get to travel together.

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Tasting freedom, and then letting it go

I didn’t want to write about my two months away right after I got back. I was still on a high. And home felt like rehab.

I didn’t want to write about home that way. I didn’t want to be that person who goes away for awhile, and comes back high and mighty, suddenly feeling like she deserves more than the life she has now.

So I waited. I waited for the bitterness – I guess that’s what it is – of coming “back to reality” to fade away until the acceptance of the reality of what was and what is settled in. It’s in this frame of mind that I am writing now.

There’s no more bitterness. Only longing.

I realize now that I’d never really experienced true freedom until two months ago, when I was thousands of miles away from home. I’m not talking about freedom to do whatever I want whenever I want. I’ve grown up enough to know that’s something I can live without.

The kind of freedom I lived with in the two months I was away is something else entirely. It’s freedom from fear – fear of disappointing watchful eyes, freedom from approval I don’t even think I want sometimes.

It’s also the kind of freedom that just can’t be found here at home. And if I’m being honest, I still don’t know how to feel about that. I love home. I love that I get to be with family. And, to me, home and family are the two things that are worth letting go of freedom for… It’s just that there are things about home and family that make me long for the two months I spent away from them.

There isn’t any bitterness. There’s just moments of loneliness – I feel lonely because I miss being alone. I’m not sure if that makes any sense to you, but it does to me.

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On the edge of the Pacific Ocean, breathing and loving life – Oregon, July 2015

Hello again

It’s been almost two months since my last post, and 15 days since I got home from my two-month vacation. I actually feel weird typing this now, kind of like riding a bike again after ten years (which is what happened in Cartagena).

A lot of things happened. I don’t know where to begin… which is perfectly fine because, to be honest, I don’t feel like writing about any of them now. I’m not sure how I’ll feel when I do.

All I can say for now is that as much as I tried to keep it from happening, I came back a different person than I was when I left.

And I’m still not sure if that’s a good thing. And I’m not sure what I’m feeling.

But if my feelings were a photo, this is probably what it would be:

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Oregon road, July 2015