It’s almost an out-of-body experience.
Those moments when you’re somewhere else, seeing something with your own eyes that matters to you. Something different. Unique. Beautiful.
I feel it staring out over the Pacific Ocean in California.
I feel it strolling through the French Quarter in New Orleans.
I feel it driving from island to island in the Florida Keys.
It hit me walking in the shadows of the steel towers in Manhattan.
Touring the historical landmarks of the National Mall in Washington DC.
At the poker tables in Las Vegas.
Listening to the roar of Niagra Falls.
On the ghost tour in Savannah, Ga.
Partying in downtown Chicago.
Eating a cheesesteak in Philadelphia.
I like being somewhere else. Traveling. You can really feel all the wonderful strangeness.
The place you live can seem monotonous. Boring. Like a heavy weight on your shoulders.
Which probably means one of three things:
- We have made a bad decision about where we’ve chose to live.
- Something bad has happened to us, and we feel trapped where we are.
- We take for granted where we live. Choosing to focus on the negative aspects of living there rather than the many good things. Because there always are some.
I’ve had a hard time living where I live in Ohio since my divorce.
Every instinct I possess makes me want to run away. But my son is here. He’s five and precious and I will never leave him.
It’s a situation that can make you feel isolated.
That can exacerbate feelings of solitude and abandonment when you don’t have roots—no family or long-time friends or familiarity nearby.
And by familiarity, I mean the stuff you knew before you started your new life.
The stuff before your marriage. The stuff that isn’t marred by tainted or painful memories.
Those anchors are valuable all the time. They’re priceless in a healing situation.
I wrote a post a few days ago indicating my plans to try and write my first book. It is an idea I am excited about. And I hope very much to show the discipline and fortitude necessary to accomplish my goal.
I solicited feedback from readers, and I got a lot of wonderful, helpful, thoughtful advice and encouragement.
But I also got a few emails. All were amazing. But one in particular stood out.
Because it was from a girl I went to high school with. She was in a different class. While we were friendly, we were never exactly friends.
But it turns out she’s been following the blog for a while. I’m not sure how long.
That’s always a crazy feeling. When I find out someone I actually know is reading this stuff because it’s not something I think about when I write. If I actually took the time to visualize all the human beings reading and judging, I would never have the courage to hit that “Publish” button.
But here was someone I have spent a little social time with. Someone I’ve known, at least a little bit, for nearly 20 years.
And she’s reading. She likes it. And she had lots of thoughtful things to say about my book-writing plans.
In the immediate aftermath of my wife leaving, I craved two things: People who had been through a separation or divorce who could truly understand the madness I was feeling, and people I knew BEFORE my marriage.
Maybe that makes sense. Maybe it doesn’t. But there is something incredibly pure about those relationships forged during the more-innocent times.
When life was good.
Before everything broke.
And that’s what this note was.
A connection to my past. A little piece of beauty and light. A needed dose of warmth.
Not because we knew each other particularly well. Not because her advice is going to make my writing better necessarily. Not because she had a bunch of nice things to say to me, even though she did.
But because she represented all of that good from my former life.
Her message felt like home.
What a gift.
Because there’s nothing quite like home.