Hello loved ones!
It’s been a while hasn’t it?
The holidays sure were eventful. I thought about you so often, and all of the things I could write about and tell you. Alas my thoughts are quite scattered, so I will have to start one thing at a time.
The first thing I want to write about in my return is Gratitude. I believe we all have our stories with gratitude, whether we acknowledge it or not, whether we are grateful or not. It’s such a complex emotion (or perhaps simply to me, as I tend to find most emotions complex) that I find that we do not have enough words to describe it. Indeed, often times I say “I love you” because “thanks” just does not cover it. I feel like being grateful and being thankful are different emotions.
Nevertheless, I’d like to augment the volume of gratitude in my life. Turn it up, so to speak, so that I am more aware of how and when I am feeling it. But most importantly, when I am not feeling it, so that I can attempt to replace whatever feeling there is with one of gratitude instead.
And thus begins my very first installment of #ThankfulThursday. It’s late in the day, I’m aware of this, but I have spent the day being grateful for my brand new apartment. Today I unpacked the very last box. I love this new place! I have moved a million times in my life, adapting to whatever box I lived in at the moment and making it my own. With this place, however, I certainly did not have to try very hard at all!
And so that’s what today’s blog post is dedicated to. The moving/traveling process.
I remember being a tiny tot with my mom, and living by ourselves in tiny houses and apartments in Dominican Republic. She says we were poor, but all I remember is her, her smile, her love, and how she made every place we lived my home. I carry that in me, and I believe that’s what taught me what “Home is where the heart is” meant. My heart is in my chest, therefore wherever I am, that will be home. And there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t feel my mom in my heart, and so she will always be home in my heart as well.
I remember Little Mermaid sheets and covers and bathroom curtains when I was older and we were no longer poor and I had my own room with toys and things that made me feel like I had everything I could ever want. I was eight.
I remember my room as a teenager, how it started off with Sunflowers and evolved into a shrine to all things Japanese (with a slight spillage into Chinese). Bamboo curtains, a huge chinese fan decorating my wall. My collection of dragons and fairies and learning to let go of “things” as I moved to France.
I remember Paris with Paula, my first roommate ever, and I lugging around the hugest suitcase you’ve ever seen, going through metro after metro and feeling the cobblestone underneath the worn out wheels threatening to yank away my suitcase from me. I remember living in a tiny apartment that cost 600 euros a month which was preposterous. Our neighbors were Russian and they hated us because we would take showers at night and there was a pump that was in their room that would loudly go off when we would turn the water on. It was on the top floor of some building, was slanted and we had no space. The shower was never hot, so we would bathe with pots of boiled water and mix it with cold water in the hopes it would help us stay warm in the cruel French winters. For our first dinner, we had Nutella crepes and French fries, “just because we can”.
I remember continuing to let go of things as I moved time and time again. I lived in three different places in the two years I was in France.
The first time I ever lived with a boyfriend, was in Guanajuato, Mexico, It was a studio, with a tiny kitchen area, a tiny bathroom, and one small bed. And that’s how we slept. It was close to everything, and I was in love and happy.
I remember the moving, the walking around, the letting go, the roommates.
I remember the landlords and leaseholders, the corner store owners, and whatever was nearby that made the location work for me.
This has all been a projection of my own adaptability. A quality I believe has saved my life, and that up until recently, I had sorely underrated. I feel lucky, happy, excited, blessed…and yes, so so thankful, that I have been able to travel and move and see so many places. That even when I had to go back to my mom’s house so many times, not really having my “own” room, that I had a room that had a terrace and was always clean.
This has been a huge huge part of my life. What is life? Who knows. But the locations that I have called home, so far, and my relationship to them? Well…that just merits gratitude.
So thank you, life, serendipity, privilege, circumstance, universe, self, and family…for the locations I have called home.
All my love,