Home: God Bless America

People like to talk a lot of smack about America.  Hell, I've even grumbled a bit about this and that, but never in my life have I ever been so happy to land in Miami as I was a couple of weeks ago.  I considered throwing myself on the ground and screaming LAND, but didn't want to draw unwanted attention to myself in the airport.  I danced a weird little gleeful dance once I realized I could understand everyone's accent (in English and Spanish) and that there was food available on pretty much every street corner.  

There are so many things I take for granted being home.  The glory that is driving a car.  The wonder at how gigantic a grocery store is.  The clean tap water.  The septic systems that work flawlessly.  The mail that runs in a reasonable amount of time.  The traffic laws.  The availability of cheese that isn't Gouda.  And, most importantly, the being surrounded by people that know you and love you anyway.

Being home has been a little bit of a slap in the face though- life has continued marching on without me.  There might have been a Caitlin-sized-hole in the beginning, but by now everyone has managed to fill it up real nice.  My mama has been telling me for 20-something years now, "You're not that important," but it's still a little sad.
 
When I was a little girl I always knew that I would be living somewhere exotic doing exciting things when I was older.  I knew this.  I knew it in the way that only a kid can know something.  I knew it with absolute certainty.  I envisioned living in Toledo, Espana and hearing the Cathedral bells ring every Sunday.  I envisioned living in Marrakesh and bonding with camel drivers.  I envisioned living in Australia and hanging out with some crazy divers exploring the Great Barrier Reef.  I envisioned living in Goa and going to daily fish markets to buy my dinner.  I envisioned living in Buenos Aires dancing salsa and eating rare steak.  I never envisioned living in the Caribbean.  It just goes to show, no matter how vivid your imagination is, you can't predict where life is going to take you.

But, even though I know I'm on a great adventure, I still feel a little bit like Dorothy as I sit here and wait for my flight "there's no place like home."

God Bless America.

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