1:35 am. I sat in the LA airport, staring out the window. The skies I saw were the skies of home. Constellations twinkling their recognition at me. Familiar. But somehow, I felt as if my heart were miles and miles away.
For the last four months I’d lived in Costa Rica. The months before I’d spent in my hometown, San Clemente. Now, I was on my way to Phoenix to live for the summer. With two other influential trips to different countries filling up the rest of my year, I felt scattered all over the map. It’d only been a year since I graduated highschool, but so far growing up had me feeling like I’d lost any sense of “home” I’d previously had.
Here, this place that I’d known for so long, felt nearly empty. As if it didn’t hold something with enough significance to keep my heart captive. But here were friends and family, well-known oceans and horizons. I didn’t get it. And maybe, I still don’t. But I have figured out a few things since that night under the LA stars.
Sometimes, places capture more of your heart than you realize. And sometimes, moments happen in a place and at a time that can never be replicated. So sometimes, you’ll find yourself aching for a somewhere or a sometime or a something that you can’t quite put your finger on. And it might feel as though you’ve left part of your heart somewhere. You might feel a little scattered. But that’s alright.
Because I’ve realized that maybe, feeling a little scattered is part of growing up. Leaving part of yourself behind, embodied in friends and family and the places you love, and carrying on confidently into the unknown with the rest. Lacking one place to call “home” doesn’t always mean you don’t have one. Sometimes it means you’ve found several, in different places (which takes commitment issues to a whole other level).
I’ve also learned that maybe I’m not leaving parts of myself wherever I go. That maybe I’m finding parts. That at the end of my life, if I’ve really lived surrendered to the Author and Creator, I’ll have found all the places and things that make my heart beat, the way He designed it from the beginning. A treasure hunt, my whole life through.
words and photos by Alyssa Nesbitt