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The truth is, I feel a pang in my chest when I think about leaving again.
It’s coming, of course.
I take off tomorrow (Thursday, Oct. 18), bound for Guatemala City, and then Cobán, then who knows where, as I continue my indefinite journey through Central America, through new challenges, through new frustrations and thrills.
This new life, full of surprise and wonder? I love it.
But my old life? I love it, too.
I love taking hot baths and building fires and eating food from all over the world and standing barefoot in the kitchen over a big batch of caramelizing onions. I love the coziness and security of being in a place so familiar and safe. Most of all, I love the faces that recognize me, that understand me, that look at me with the seasoned love of years spent.
This big life change was never about being unhappy here or merely feeling the urge to “get away.” It was about expanding my horizons, stepping out of my comfort zone, taking risks, embracing challenges, thinking about things differently, building something, breaking something.
I wanted to see who I could become. I wanted a new perspective. I wanted to struggle a little bit.
It was supposed to be hard, and often it is.
Life barreling through the world is complicated and stressful and sometimes exhausting.
But it’s also inspiring. It’s exhilarating. It stirs something inside of me that doesn’t get stirred otherwise.
It’s possible to love two lives, and I do.
So it’s with a heavy heart that I’ll take off — away from conveniences and comfort, from the particular privilege of being known and understood.
But its with a light heart that I’ll land, again, in Guatemala —back into the unknown and the uncomfortable, into a journey that teaches me patience and wisdom and beauty and gratitude and a life in which I change every day.