Right now my mama is flying across the big Atlantic to see me. All.by.herself! That’s a big deal for her! I’m so proud — and so thankful she’s making the journey to visit. Now I know what she and my dad mean when they get “nervous” about me traveling. My heart is in my throat, my nerves are chattering as I think and pray that everything’s going well on the trip. I hope people are nice to her. I hope she doesn’t get lost. I hope she is having a good time.
At long last I get what my parents are feeling.
And I have to admit, they are troopers. With the amount of times I’ve called home sobbing about something, I’m surprised they haven’t finally said “ENOUGH.”
Instead they do what I feel they’ve allowed me to do since I was a wee babe.
They encourage me, trust me, simply let me be me.
In my life I’ve flown abroad eight times (with who knows how many connections and layovers). Seven of those times have been alone. I’ve taken more overnight trains, buses, subways, and boat rides than I can count. Not all by myself. But most with friends I’ve made along the way. I’ve only ever felt legitimately scared on two occasions. Thank goodness.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m an “explorer” of the world, rather, I can’t seem to keep my feet in one place for an extended period of time. I attribute it to the fact I haven’t yet found “my place,” found my “aha, this is what and where I am meant to be for my life.” (That’s a bit exaggerated, but hopefully it makes even a tiny bit of sense… I keep getting side-tracked thinking about my mom…)
I would say it’s because even though I’m terrified of being vulnerable, I am always drawn to be exactly that; Heart on my sleeve, take it or leave it, here I am, vulnerable.
Especially when it comes to love.
First I must confess that I am a letter writer. I love finding the perfect card and filling up all of its flaps with words. Letters to professors who’ve inspired, friends who’ve listened, doctor’s who have helped, an ex after our breakup–I have this need to express how they have affected my life, and show my gratitude and perspective.
A few weeks ago, on one of the hardest of nights post-breakup, I began thinking about what I would tell him if I were completely honest. I told my friend JP about it and he asked what I would say. As I typed it all out, I began realizing things I hadn’t consciously considered. It was eye-opening, therapeutic in a way.
JP said I had to tell him what I said.
I said maybe.
In the hub-bub of life and distance I wasn’t in much of a position to tell him this all in person. And over the telephone is just not my style. So, in very 21st Century fashion, I private messaged him on Facebook and, after carefully crafting what tone and words to use, I hit send.
Then I threw up.
It was like handing him my heart and letting him have it on loan until he made a decision.
This is what I knew: I shouldn’t expect a response. If it went viral on Buzzfeed with OMG and LOL badges, my friend Gabby said she’d still be my friend. But most importantly, I knew I had done all I could. It was out of my hands.
I received a kind reply. As kind as a rejection reply can be.
But I didn’t throw up.
I was at peace. I was relieved.
I did all that I could do.
I said everything I wanted, needed him to know.
And most surprisingly, I’m here to tell the tale.
I survived and I have absolutely no regrets.
That’s how I hope to live my life, after all — don’t we all?
With no regrets.
So no matter where I am in the world, what adventure I’m seeking, or the people I’m meeting, my parents have let me live it all though knowing I am a sensitive soul with a heart I wear right out there for the world to see—or write about on this blog…
…Then they comfort me when my heart gets soggy and they celebrate with me when it soars. But they let me live my life how I want to.
If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.