When you build a lifestyle, it can be scary to re-evaluate it. You’ve put in all this time and effort to construct the foundations of your life. You sacrifice and shuffle through the bits to get to the parts that are worth the polish. For two-and-a-half years, I had painstakingly been shaping my environment like a potter at her wheel: taking the time to slowly work with the materials provided to me. Constructing your own life is an art. Any sort of deconstruction of that work requires gusto. Did I have that? I wasn’t convinced.
Nevertheless, it had been too long for my family and friends to let me stay away for much longer in Taipei. I was (tough-love) encouraged to come home. Home: a place where I had grown up, but not the place I had invested 3 years into. Would going ‘home’ alter the home I had built?
So I unstuck the roots I had carefully tended and fiercely guarded to exchange for the wings of a Boeing 777-300.
I landed in Dallas a day of travel later and found the climate acceptable. Note to self: stop stressing about the weather. I struggled with baggage claim. Second note to self: people still lack common sense as to not put their trolleys against the conveyor belt whereby effectively blocking anyone else from getting suitcases. At least people were consistent? I made it out to the arrival hall and met with my father. The first coming home encounter was well underway. As we headed to the larger-than-life parking garage for all the go-big-or-go-home Texas-sized vehicles, I made one more mental note: Brah talk is thriving and is best to avoid when possible.
Dallas was the first of many stops in navigating my home frontier. In the month of August, my trip went from Dallas and Fort Worth; El Paso; down through the Mexican cities of Chihuahua, Creel, and Mexico City; back up to El Paso; further adventuring to Scottsdale; and ending back over in the city where it all began. Call it rebirth or maybe re-evaluation. It was a necessity put off for far too long. The journey brought about reflection, hardship, and even acceptance. Mostly, it allowed me to understand the influences and environments that had shaped the person who left for Taipei. The Southwest was still guiding the woman who found roots by taking to her wings. It was teaching me that you can’t have that far stretch of horizon that I always seem to be pining over if you don’t have both the ground and the sky to marry together. A life worth living has both roots and wings.