It’s good to be back home.

iPhone photos make me happy.

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I have a severe case of move-away-itis these days (I think it is the twin sister of wanderlust). I am always seeking exotic (and more temperate) places that sound fulfilling to live in. Seattle. London. Vermont. Banff. San Miguel de Allende. Everything sounds better than where I am. Cute cities with their corner coffee shops to hide away from my reality inside. Big city delis and butcher shops where they know my name and my order. Small town farmers markets to waste my lingering days away dreaming up new recipes for tomatoes each week.

This morning, I stumbled upon a post from another photographer who spent time in a lovely town tucked far into the nooks and crannies of New England and I paused and melted over it’s loveliness. It looked magical – Fishing piers and ice cream shoppes and waterfront parks and wellies on everyone. I wanted to be there with it’s charming fishing boats bringing in local seafood daily and watch artists paint while I wandered with a hot cup of something warming my hands and my soul. As I paused for a while, I realized the similarities between this little village and my own current town – Charleston, SC.

I spent time wondering what it was I didn’t like about this charming city that appeals to so many. Was it the oppressive humidity and hungry mosquitoes that drive me indoors 40-50% of the year? Was it the demons from my past that lurk around the corners to haunt my heart? Was it the ghosts and shadows of happier times with loved ones that linger on restaurant steps and sandy beaches? Or was it just that life takes over my steering wheel and there is little time for picnics and playgrounds and beach afternoons when you are navigating traffic and carpool and guitar lessons?

It’s hard to tell why I have had trouble embracing a city that seems to offer so much to so many. Festivals and food. Plantations and playgrounds. Beaches and barns. These are all things that make my heart flutter like a schoolgirl with a crush. I often feel like Charleston is the relationship that rejects me over and over and over again – despite my attempts at giving it all I have. But maybe it’s me. Maybe he rejects me because for so long I rejected myself. It’s hard to love someone who doesn’t love themselves wholly and fully. It’s hard to love something that plays the past over in their heads like a broken record, wishing you did something different somewhere.

I have spent far too many days in my life being reminded of what I am not or what I didn’t do. There is a lot of repair work you need to do around all that damage. But yesterday that changed a little bit. Somewhere between the sunrise carpool and sunset wine by the docks, I found some tolerance for myself allowing me to be loved for who I am after all.

Sometimes, it’s just good to be back home, settled in and comfortable.

 

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