A long journey home

How many times have I sat before this screen and wondered if I had anything important to say? There are almost 8 billion people in this world. What makes me different from any one of them? What makes me stand out? What makes me think I have anything of value to add?

I love the idea that everyone has a gift or a purpose. But what’s mine? I think I might’ve been looking so hard that I couldn’t focus on what was right in front of me. I think they call this not seeing the forest for the trees, and… spoiler – this comes close to the plot of the Alchemist, one of my very favorite books. The journey back to yourself is the hardest, but like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, the magic has been in me all along.

There are times when I really, truly don’t have anything to say, or feel comfortable feeling it never mind saying it. There are times, even now, when I want to stay in hiding, and there have been times on this blog that I’ve gone the complete opposite way and shared some really difficult things. Things people don’t talk about. Scary things. The willingness to do that, to open myself up despite pushback (and there is pushback and fear, and even still some shame)… well, I wouldn’t say that’s a talent, or a purpose. I think everyone can do it. But everyone isn’t. So what does that mean?

Do my words matter? Does this blog matter? Maybe. Or maybe it’s another step. I don’t see my gifts or my purpose as a destination, but a journey. A journey, like Dorothy, back to myself. Will I find that magical purpose when I reach Oz? Will I reach Oz, and what will be there when I do? The only thing I can count on being there is what I learn along the way. (Again, props to the Alchemist here.)

I don’t think my purpose is as simple as one thing, but maybe we have a different gift and a different purpose for different seasons in our life? I sometimes wish I was someone who just knew I was meant to be a nurse and save lives, or a teacher and change them. But it’s never been that simple for me. Maybe it’s not that simple for you, either. Here’s the thing – being true to myself is as close to my purpose as I can get. That honesty and authenticity has sure put me on the right path, at least. But who is that? Who am I when I look in the mirror and try to align myself?

Well, it depends on when you ask me. Like everyone, I’m nuanced. But in my heart I like to think I’m kind, forgiving to a fault, a good listener, and a good friend. I’m creative and caring, even if I don’t always know how to channel those. I’m chaotic and passionate – often to a fault there, too. I’m a dreamer. Honest. Intuitive. Empathic. At my best, I’m in love with the world. At my worst? Well, I think you’ve read those blogs. The danger of being a person who embraces their feelings is being a person who embraces their feelings. All of them. But I won’t run from them. Not anymore. They’re a part of my journey, and if you’re reading this, they’re a part of yours, too.

I’m not a guru. My degree in history makes me patently unqualified to offer advice, except for the fact that I’ve been to those places, to the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I’ve been on this journey to find myself and my purpose. To find a way to help and make the world a better place. And somehow, I’ve found it in me to write about it. Does that mean something? I suppose it has to.

All these years of seeking, and maybe my gift or my purpose isn’t something I have or something I’m seeking, but something I am? Maybe it was in front of me all along? It seems too simple, unless you think of it as a step. Once step on a long journey home.


It’s our last full day in Maine.

I’m sitting in the rain. 

(No, I didn’t rhyme that on purpose.)

There’s something about these woods that has me thinking deeply. The cry of the seagulls. The vastness of the ocean. It gets me, every time. But these woods… they’re so quiet and untouched. Full of possibility. Wild.  As if they could come to life at any minute to show me the way. Or to hide it. There’s more than one heartbeat deep inside them. Which would I follow? Would I find myself or get more lost?

This morning they have me thinking about love. Why? Well besides the fact my friend Jeff brought up the question in his new book, I also think deep thoughts alone on the porch with my coffee listening to the seagulls and the rain. I don’t often come to deep conclusions, but therein lies the fun of philosophizing. What is love? Can the ocean tell me? Can the gulls? 

Can I tell me?

There was a time I wouldn’t have been sure in my answer. Of course not. Perhaps we’re born knowing love, but the world is a difficult place, more so as we grow older. I’ve batted around some answers, but each sounded more wooden than the next. So my heart told me to feel it and translate that to words. That’s what I do, isn’t it? It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. It’s my pull. My purpose. Show them. Show them how the world can be in words and color and feeling. Show them this rainy porch and the cry of the gulls and the sharp coffee, and show them your unrelenting desire to pour out these feelings and words and descriptions and have them matter to someone. To anyone. 

But I gave up writing, remember? I let the world tell me I wasn’t good enough. And I believed it. And maybe, in doing that, I let go of love, too. I let go of loving myself, anyway. In fact, there was a time I would’ve told you I straight up hated who I’d become. I wasn’t talented. I wasn’t valuable. I wasn’t enough. 

And so my description of love is going to be a little poetic. I hope you don’t mind. Because while I still struggle with those things, my heart reminded me I can find love all alone on a rainy porch in Maine, but also on a random Tuesday in my kitchen or in my office working on my book. Because I am love, even when I lose sight of it. How do you find your way back to that? It’s not easy, but I truly think your heart knows the way. And there’ve been times I stubbornly refused to listen to my heart. I’m still out of alignment in so many places, largely due to fear disguised as practicality. What if my heart is wrong? What if I’m making a huge mistake? What if I fail? What if they’re all laughing and I end up alone?

I don’t have an answer for those fears. This started out as a blog on love, after all. And maybe love needs belief. It needs trust. It needs a leap of faith. 

I don’t know that I’m ready to take that leap, not in everything. My heart is a dreamer, and ambitious and also quite stubborn. But it’s enough for now to listen. To the lobster boats as they leave the harbor. To the cry of the seagulls. And also, finally, to my heart. Because love is being in alignment with who I am.

To subscribe to my blog, enter your email below: