It took some effort, but I made it back to Florida a few days ago.  I’ve done the mad whirlwind of Christmas, and am still whirling as the holiday week continues.  The truth is, I’m a little overwhelmed and I’ve had to work really hard at not being as prickly as a porcupine with people.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and friends, and I enjoy seeing familiar sights and having the comforts of home.  I appreciate the gifts I’ve gotten.  I am thankful for the homes I’ve been welcomed to stay in and the meals that have been shared with me.  I appreciate how happy everyone is to see me and I have definitely missed seeing the faces of those I love.  I’m glad to be here.  But if I’m completely honest that’s only half of the truth.  The other half of the truth is that I almost don’t want to be here.  It’s cold…and I hate cold.  It’s busy and fast and loud.  I want to see everyone- feel obligated to spend time in equal measure with the people who’ve been so supportive of me, of the seemingly crazy shift I’ve made in my life.  It’s hard to go from the complete freedom of Costa Rica to the expectations and demands home and people place on me and my time.  I’ve sat back and watched myself the last few days and realized, even more than before, that I have changed.  I have less to say, and no need to fill the space around me with the noise of television, music, and endless chatter.   In fact, these things begin to grate on my nerves rather quickly.  I’m used to a quieter, slower life. I’m used to time alone and the space inside my head being filled with just my own voice.  It’s hard to change gears.

I’m not complaining, really.  I knew it would be hard to come home.  I wrote a post a few weeks ago about not wanting to come home, though I never posted it.  I was aware in advance that I’d probably be overwhelmed by the differences between what once was home and what now feels like home to me.  More than anything, I’m just wondering out loud.  Wondering what makes home, ‘home.’  Wondering what I’ll do with myself when this time in Costa Rica is due to be over.  Wondering what these changes mean for my future.  Wondering how else I’ll change as I purposefully look for the best for myself and chase after what fills my heart.  Wondering who I will become and whether or not I’ll like her.  And I’m realizing, too.  Realizing that I’ve become far more honest about myself.  Realizing that I’ve grown much more accepting and forgiving of myself, as well.  Realizing how much more willing I now am to speak up and say what I want, to give myself the space and time I need, and to let go of the guilt of not being able to do and be what everyone wants.  Realizing that I’ve still got a ways to go, too.

It’s good to see the changes.  It’s good to see myself through new eyes, and to see the people I love through those same new eyes.  It’s good to know that I’m still loved, and that I’m learning to love myself better, too.   As overwhelming as this homecoming is proving to be, it’s good.

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