Monday, September 7, 2009

Drifting Home

So, it's been a year. Likely, one of the most distinct, important and influential years I'll ever live. Through the Drift, I've been able to chronicle my journey, and create space to openly and honestly reflect in and through my time.

My appointed mantra "The Journey is the Destination" is one that could - and should - be continued even after one "Destination" is reached. And so, I keep writing. And reflecting. And, if anyone will join me, creating an open space - a community where people are safe to probe and question and examine life in a way that, I fear, far too few do.

So, while I won't be writing on an expat's trials and travails in a foreign land, I have a sneaking suspicion that many of the themes I found in my life in Taiwan. Just, you know, not so much the Taiwanese stuff...

The last week went by in a haze. Saying Goodbyes stretched out through Saturday, and I didn't finish packing until the moment it was time to leave. Friday night was a melancholy goodbye from the Neighborhood. After we all hung out one last time, I said my farewells, gave my hugs, and walked away from the others. It hit me how fast the goodbyes were. Like peeling off a band-aid, maybe? Honestly, it felt much more like a see you later than a goodbye. I hope that it was. When I made it to my house, I sat outside on a bench to absorb the night and reflect over the people and places I would miss.

Ten minutes in the brisk, post-midnight air slip passed me before I stirred from my spot. It seemed surreal that I would be leaving soon. That these places and routines that became so familiar - the same ones that were once so foreign - would soon dim to forgotten. I reflected on what I sought to learn. Goals I set for myself that I didn't achieve moved in and out of my mind as I pushed them away realizing their unimportance in the grand scheme of things. And the only goal I had left once again became burden enough to move me from my seat. In 16 hours, I would leave for the airport. I needed to pack.

But even after I climbed the four staircases to my room, my mind hadn't wandered from reflection. I wondered about my change in lifestyle, thinking, and habits. Would they stick? As I loaded up my carry-on, I allowed myself to dwell on my biggest fear: returning home the same person I was when I left.

Too much time had past, I told myself, I've learned too much to go back. But it wasn't until I reached out, instinctively, and grabbed a pen that my fears calmed. As I slipped the pen into my carry-on, I knew that this year could never be a waste. I had learned what I come to learn, and I would carry it with me wherever I drift to next.


Kristy said...

You are such a good writer. I feel inspired everytime I read your words, it's like I feel them to, like I was also saying goodbye and traveling with you.

You have such a gift.


floreta said...

i'm glad to share part of your journey with you, Chase. it's been great following your blog and more to come.

Lynzi said...

I love you.

Welcome home. It was an incredible year for you. You are an inspiration to so many, especially me. I can't wait until our journey continues together outside these US borders. Always keep your eyes focused on the Lord, and go where your heart leads you.

Samantha said...

Although I am a bit sad that I won't hear anymore about Taiwan excursions, it'll be nice to be breathing the same West Coast air...

Andhari said...

Heyyy welcome homeee, chase!:) I think you'll bring all those amazing experiences and values that you learn in Taiwan back home, like you said :).

Lori Bevi said...

How was your journey home? your welcome back party? life now?
TIME for a new blog. =)

Chase said...

@MamaWood, Thank you :)

@Floreta, more to come indeed. You know this already, but, "ditto"

@Lynzi, love ya too, lil sister

@Sam, the air is nice indeed. Ever thought of venturing down south now that you're on the other left coast?

@Andhari, Thanks! :) It is good to be home, and I do hope to bring it all back with me - as much as I can

@Lori, my journey home was an experience in itself. Another blog post maybe? :) I'll have news regarding "The Drift" soon enough ;)

virginia said...

welcome back, and even though it will take much ink and paper, print out your posts, and keep them safe. who knows how we will communicate in the future.

in 25 years, you will have forgotten many details, and in 40 years, i hope you will have returned at least once.

it took me 38 years to get back (to France), and i wish i'd had a diary to hand to my son from that time period. he could not have imagined the movie that was running through my head as i visited a place i thought i would never see again.

i've enjoyed following.

no hurricanes, yet, this year.

Carson Leith said...

warmed my heart to read this, man.

can't wait to see you.

Don said...

At least now you're in the same time zone and I'm going to stay alert for any April 1st shenanigans!

A whirlwind departure week, and a whirlwind arrival week?

After my travels my dad would say to me, "Get a haircut" and "Get a job." Well, your hair is fine...

;-) jk (made myself laugh) I just like telling you to do things, as if I had the influence.

Welcome home, again.