So almost every year to year and a half I come home from europe to be with my friends and family. 90 days to be exact. As much as I try to avoid it these are always periods of intense emotional growth for me- but as we all know with growth comes breakdowns and the shattering of old ways. The older I get the more I am realizing that life changes. We really have flows, ups and downs. I’ve spoken about being a highly emotional individual before. Sometimes we are mistaken for weak people. I don’t always feel that is true.
I have many friends who have good, easy going lives, and never many problems- but that’s just what we see on the outside. The truth is every individual experiences pain and grief and at different times of their lives and in different ways. Also all experiencing different triggers.
In general being an expat, and coming back to where you are “from” is tough. To be honest, every day I feel like a complete alien. I remember why I never thrived the way I hoped to here. Sometimes, you just feel more like “you” in other places. I am not the kind of person to enthusiastically co sign anything too much. In fact, I sometimes realistically hate my life in Europe too. There are plenty of things that are more difficult for me there, and life can be harder. But when it comes to energy, peace, vibrations, lifestyle, and solitude I just fit in there like a puzzle. So when I come back to the unfamiliar surroundings of my home country, I get really down at times and feel lost. I wonder who I would have become if I had never left and where to go from here.
In your thirties, regardless of what career you have chosen for yourself you begin to think about having a family, a foundation, and just growing as a person. I have grown so much in Europe, but the thought of leaving everything behind in the states for good and taking a leap of faith on meeting my husband, starting a family, and career/business in France and Europe is frightening. I revert to moments of feeling irresponsible for essentially having followed my hearts path and I wonder if my dream like state gets in the way of staying on my G-d given and directed path.
There’s also the family thing. I am very close with my family. My brothers have had children and built lives with their spouses over the last years, all while I’ve been away. I feel like I miss out on so much. As we grow older so do our parents and you just simply want to be there. My ambitions suddenly have shifted from loving being in one place to wanting to be in two places at once and so I digress… I am staying home a month longer this year, because my sister in law is allowing me to be in the room during the birth of my third (niece or nephew!). I couldn’t very well miss out or say no to that opportunity or the chance to try to spend more time with my family.
The first month I was home, I got to be around my nieces and nephew and be at home with my brother and sister. My dad is going through a divorce so everyone just seemed to be busy with their own lives, and I am home, off of work with nothing to do. I have to say that really effects your productivity and confidence as a person. I’m not someone who really likes to take “breaks” or vacations so it’s really difficult for me to feel okay with not being productive. But life has a way of making us slow down when you really need to.
I think as humans in general we go through different growth periods where we have to kind of break in a way to grow. I’m a cancer and someone told me how crabs grow is basically by shedding all the time and then eventually they have to break their hard shell to grow to their full potential. If they don’t break the shell, they die. I think that’s so relative to life, maybe no one is really open and speaking online about heartbreak and troubles, but in real life we all go through it. We know it, Our Families know it, Our friends and the people closest to us know it.
There’s nothing wrong with being awake and realizing that the game of life is really a puzzle with so many pieces. We keep plugging away until something fits the void of the missing pieces. I am working hard right now on the website and preparing and setting up my projects for 2018 for success. I’m always real with you guys when I am going through shit because I’m human, you’re human and we all have hard moments. I maintain that what you see on instagram and consumer driven blogs is not the real life.
We have to march through dark moments during our lives to forge ahead into the light. (words inspired by Kobe Bryant and his talk that I attended at Complexcon!)
Keep close for more travel updates (working on an ATL, LA, and NYC Travel guide for you all as we speak) and more posts about my year in review and how I have continued my path of healing during my travels and obstacles!
pants: valerie finds vintage
photos: @nateshuls Nate Shuls
concept/styling: aurielle sayeh