I had the most bizarre realization several years ago at 30,000 feet flying over upstate New York and heading toward Providence; “I am comfortable here. This is where I belong.” Adding to this thought was the fact that I had been doing some genealogical research and discovered that my brother and I are the first generation in many-like five-to not have been born in upstate New York. I felt like it was uniquely mine and that I was a part of it. Something I was not used to feeling.
We had spent holidays with relatives who lived in remote areas in the hills, quaint little farm towns with “just a stop sign,” my dad would boast. Playing in the snow and being allowed to wander freely. Unbeknownst to me, it made an impression that I didn’t discover for years to come.
But that undeniable feeling at that moment and when I landed in Providence; relaxed, alive, content, had been there each time-I just never listened enough to recognize it.
Have you ever felt that way? It’s remarkable.
On the day-to-day, it doesn’t make a huge impact. It feels like low-lying anxiety and you know something? I didn’t even know it was there until that day on that plane ride when it dissolved.
I have gotten used to feeling “a bit off” and it’s not until that feeling went away that I discovered what a difference it makes for me to physically be somewhere that makes me feel this way. It’s not something I think about everyday (I’ve been in Oregon for 14 years), but you know that feeling when you feel connected to the world around you? That bad things may happen, but at least you have your town? You feel like it knows you and you know it? Unmistakable.
The thing is, I wasn’t born back East. I was born in SW Washington. I do not feel that way in Washington. I feel disoriented there. We were a military family growing up, so we were told that “home is where we are together.” No emphasis was put on where we were physically, so this feeling of peace is how I imagine what “home” feels like to people who were born and raised in their hometown.
My body, my heart, has apparently chosen Rhode Island as my home.
I feel this draw to certain places above others. For instance, I love the desert. LOVE it. I had never even been there until I was 18 and even then, I had no idea why it seemed to relax me. I wouldn’t want to live there, but I will be the first one to tell you how amazing the Eastern sides of Oregon and Washington are. Quiet and serene, dramatic. A completely different universe than the Western side.
I also felt something like this on Kauai, but who hasn’t? Kauai is amazing. It’s my home of a different kind; the kind where your body-your skin and your hair improve. It’s health home.
So what does this all mean? For me, it means I will be moving East one day. More importantly, it goes in my Instruction Manual as “a truth.” Life will change. Everything about life changes, every single thing, and the more truths I can learn about myself, the inalienable ones that are true on the most primitive level, need the most focus.
These are the very fabric of who we are. Knowing more about myself and my identity helps me to evolve and move forward, move closer to peace.
Where do you feel connected?