Millennial Musings: Living Far From HomeOctober 6, 2018
They say that home is where the heart is, but what does it actually mean to call a place home? Is home near family? Is home by the mountains or the sea shore? Is it where you feel happy when you live there? I think that home is all of these and more; it is variable. Home and heart mean different things to different people, and it’s up to each of us to be patient enough to withstand the time and experience it takes to get us to our own individual understanding.
It wouldn’t be fair for me to say that Army life took us far away from home. The truth is, it has been life itself that has taken us far. Millennials may have been stereotyped as a generation obsessed with wanderlust and travel blogs, but again, that box does not do us justice either.
The real reason my family and I have relocated so many times is that we have this nagging little spirit of adventure in our hearts. I have wanted to crush him so many times. I have wanted to tell him to go to Hell in the same hand basket as all of his crazy schemes. Unfortunately, spirits like that don’t mind reason very well.
My family and I became a family in South Korea, where I was teaching English and where I met my soldier husband, José. After that we lived in a cute little single family home we own in coastal Georgia, in a condo on post in El Paso, Texas, and then off-post again in a rental in the suburbia of the borderlands. Little did we know that our journey to find home was still only just beginning.
After José retired from the Army, I threw him a retirement party where we smashed the watch he had not taken off for 11 years with a sledgehammer. It was the best retirement party activity I think I’ve participated in to date.
As all the little bits of glass and plastic and rubber and wire shattered, our freedom became tangible. We had the whole world in our hands. We were no longer at the mercy of time, or so we thought. We could go anywhere. So where would we go?
When faced with this kind of life-altering choice, it’s easy to make the wrong one, especially when there is an overwhelming panoply of them.
Moving Towards Home
We started our post-Army life in October of 2015 in a place I like to affectionately recall as the Wild Wild West. Twenty minutes outside of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, we invested all our savings into a tiny house we lived in for two months.
The tiny house had no running water and only some electricity. Needless to say we got tired of camping out in there real quick. We were twenty minutes from the nearest grocery store and our social life was going to the laundromat every other week. The situation devolved into one of the most miserable experiences of my life. We finally decided to move back to our house in Georgia.
During this time a pain developed at the base of my spine when I sat that was persistent and unappeasable. No matter what I did I could not relieve it. I was learning Reiki at this time, so I practiced self-healing, tried making use of various stones and essential oils, worked out for 1-2 hours every day, sat in dead sea salt baths twice a week, and ate an impeccable diet. I did this for over 5 months. Nothing helped.
Although my daughters and I were very happy in Georgia, my husband was not. Something was not right. So after just six months, it was time to leave again.
This time we tried living in New York, so we could be near family. After a summer of desperate homelessness, we still could not find a place to live. New York was spitting us out. We love our family, but the state did not seem to love us back. We decided that Colorado would be the best place to settle our family, so we made plans to move to Colorado Springs.
It was October, and with the change of seasons we seemed destined to change again ourselves. Once again within a week we were packed up, trailer hitched to our jeep. The pain in my spine was worse than ever, an affliction that was not easy to ignore on the long road trip west.
We were overjoyed to see Pikes Peak and its glorious assorted mountain friends the closer we got to our new home. We already had an apartment waiting for us, so we unpacked and settled in quickly.
It wasn’t until about a week later that I realized something extraordinary. The pain at the base of my spine had not only diminished, it was miraculously gone.
Before then, I had not made the connection between the pain and my root chakra, but now I saw it so clearly. The root chakra is associated with security, safety, and home.
For a year I had been in pain. For a year we had been living far from home. For the first time in over 12 months, we were living in a place where we intended to stay and call home. For the first time in over 12 months, I could sit and mediate or write with no discomfort at all. My root chakra issues were resolved. The synchronicity was unmistakable.
We were home.
The Mountains Are Calling
I still miss my family every time we miss a birthday party or a graduation or a family vacation. Especially now that I am expecting another little one, I wish more than ever that my family could be near me to experience the joy of new motherhood again with me.
I often wonder what it would be like if we had just powered through somehow and stayed in New York. But staying wasn’t an option. That incorrigible little spirit would have called me from the west, and he would have kept calling. He would have called me from the mountains, and I would have known that I must go.
We moved to Colorado Springs on October 12, 2016. It has been exactly 2 years. Although I have been unhappy for most of that time, I could always go to the mountains to clear my head, and turn to my good Colorado friends to clear my heart.
It couldn’t be clearer to me now – this is where my family belongs. Colorado is where our heart is, and Colorado is our home.
At least for now 😉
Stacy has more to say! Read her follow up post here on her blog!