I cry every time I come back. It usually starts as a lump in my throat about a day or so before my scheduled departure. The first one, or two, or ten times the reasons for the rising and the welling were obvious; what I was leaving behind, versus what I had to return left me justifiably mourning, terrified, angry. But now, still, the lump remains, the tears still brimming. The ‘why’ a little more evasive. I hesitate to write that to not sound dismissive of my home that does exist in Waco.
I guess at its most simplest, it continues to be a matter of what I leave and to what I return. It all seems so much more complicated now; love is not involved on one end, and what feels (felt) like misery has retreated on the other. But this feeling of imminent dread manifests every time I’m set to board a plan back to Waco, which clearly is not at all a true reflection of the life I have and the friends that are my family in Waco.
But still, I battle this constant feeling of restlessness.
I almost left. Almost turned my back completely. And did not decide to stay in Waco and at Baylor lightly. I chose this place, this life, this program–chose it multiple times, and do have faith that I belong where I am, doing what I am doing. I feel lucky to have a faith community and to have good friends. That restless part of me–the part that continues to refer to Waco as “home for now”–grabs hold when I travel away, when I’m in place that feels more like me, and with the people that know me and have become a part of who I am. This makes me realize that in some way I am a little less myself in this restless time. Though I can’t fully explain it, I suppose being restless and being ready for the next thing is ‘normal’–so normal it’s cliche.
In spite of it all, every time I return. And find another part of me in another place to call home.