Virginia, is it me you're looking for?
Change is inevitable but it's something I've always fought to avoid.
For whatever reasons 4 years ago I turned my life around. I dropped everything I had ever known and decided to start over 1000 miles north. I didn't know the kind of growth it would bring me or how long I'd be there.
I remember thinking that it was the only real move that I would make though. This new place was going to be my forever home. So only 3 years later, why did I have itchy feet? Why has the entirety of this last year been so difficult?
Itchy feet...uggh...that sure brings my mind back to present.
I gently work the sand spurs out of my feet as I stare at the water lapping the shore. This is Chesapeake Bay, Virginia. Fort Monroe was a military base and all of where I now sit was once off-limits to the public. Now it's a beach with free access and free parking. The climate is mild and the wind is playing with the sand. The sun shines down and warms me and everything feels beautiful.
But my heart is conflicted.
Just a day earlier I was driving over the bay bridge to a stunning sunset. The sky mottled with pinks and yellows and boats glittered on the distant horizon. Something in my chest tightened. I felt my heart tug at the sight of it all.. but I wonder if the sailboats cause this in me or if being here at this place and time causes it. Was this it? Was Virginia calling me now, or is it just the sailboats?
As I dug one sand spur out of my foot I made a grimacing glance at the remaining thorny intruder. The romanticism of riding over that sunset painted bridge faded to a rather, uh, sharp.. reality.
My cousin pokes my arm and points to a sailboat passing particularly close to shore and I again feel a strange sadness and longing. "You can see this every day if you want." Some little voice in my head whispers.
She offers to take me through the old barracks and the tiny tunnel that looks as if no vehicle could fit. Indeed, you can fit but it does cut it close to the walls. My mind fills with ideas of how protective this must have been to an active base. After all...narrow passages is a strategic advantage if you're hunkering down.
We pass the old jails and we both laugh while conjecturing that they most likely are haunted. We discuss ghost hunting as a possibility when I come back here. I wonder if this is something I could write about as we coast past everything.
The lighthouse looks abandoned but not in a state of disrepair. I think back to the first time I saw a lighthouse that wasn't in a movie or pictures. It was in Florida, while traveling.
Old southern porches decorated with flags and rocking chairs make me miss home - the south.
So much of my family on my father's side lives here. I have been disconnected from everything for a solid 3 years while I soul searched. Sure, I visit my parents in Tennessee.. but I'm not down as much as I'd like. My heart wants my family. So many of them told me I should move to Virginia this week.
But my heart also wants a sailboat.
I came down here for a sudden death and my parents came too. My dad was really upset when he first thought he wasn't going to be able to go to the funeral. We all worked a plan out and we all got to go. I looked around at a full house of people breaking bread after supporting each other. This is truly what love and happiness looks like. Seeing the light in my dad's eyes as he gets to see people he cares about and relax through this time of hurt ..it moves me.
Is this where my heart really wants to go? What about Egypt? Do I even know what my heart wants anymore?
The spur slips out finally, leaving a sore spot from how deep it went. I take a deep breath of salt air and savour how it not only fills my lungs, but in some way I can nearly taste it.
Am I done with New England, and have I learned what the universe needed to teach me there?
We step into the water and wade out and my skin revels in feeling the ocean again. The last time I felt the ocean's caress was in Egypt. It feels so far away now like some distant dream of Arabian Nights. It was only a month and a half ago.
The only thing my heart knows is that it needs the ocean. The way my lungs need air, my skin needs the salt water. In Tennessee the ocean was hours away. Now that I am in New England, it is only an hour to the Long Island Sound. Somehow I never go. Somehow it isn't enough. Somehow my body is greedy for more.
Saturn return has begun for me, and as my life falls apart, I must decide how it will be rearranged. I see infinite possibilities but I struggle to pick any particular one. Do I go to my family and engulf myself in unconditional love? Do I cross the vast ocean and take up a life in Dahab? Do I go to Koh Tao and try to see what the future holds there? And more importantly, have I even seen enough of this world to make a decision like that?
One thing is certain, my heart is nearing it's completion of being in Connecticut. Soon it will be time to listen to the wind and decipher where it beckons me. I believe I have become afraid of the unknown. I am afraid of the one thing that excited me so much when I first crossed the Tennessee border on my journey north.
I know that for me, only facing fear can defeat it. I have to wonder why it didn't seem this difficult the first time when I left Tennessee. Why is it so much harder now? Furthermore, if you can go anywhere in the world.. where do you go? What's stopping you?