Coming Home

Photo: Victoria Steinhart

Photo: Victoria Steinhart

I’ve visited a new place every year since I was 17. After constant movement through flights, bus rides and cross-country road trips, it’s curious to come home and be still.

Every day I drive to an office, sit at a computer I can’t afford and process pieces of information for other people’s lives. I help communities know what to do to get ready for school. I tell them the events happening around town. I show them what arrests were made, what votes were taken in their local government, who achieved business success, who lost a son or daughter in an instant.

I look into their lives, but I will never know them. Every motor vehicle accident or wedding announcement will be another piece of data I edit and process before the day is done.

I have become permanent. I have entered reality, the world they tell you about from the time you are small.

They used to ask: “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I wanted to be good. I wanted to be kind. I wanted to be loved and admired.

These days, I  want to be brave.

Photo: Victoria Steinhart

Photo: Victoria Steinhart

I don’t want to be fearless. I think fear is healthy and necessary for evolution. I want to do things even when they scare me. I want to do things because they scare me.  Although I have a phobia of falling, I want to jump off the edge of the world.

I don’t intend to stop traveling, writing or quoting inspirational cliches. But I am content to be in Austin.

Adult life. It’s pretty good. I am grateful, and I know I have been given more than I need. I intend to leave something in return, even if it’s a few words on a page.

Thanks for reading.

Photo: Victoria Steinhard

Photo: Victoria Steinhart


4 thoughts on “Coming Home

  1. I enjoy how you compare yourself as the puzzle pieces. That’s how I feel. I have not been home for four years. I miss Chinese food and my dad so much. Sometimes I worry just by picturing me being home. What if I don’t fit in anymore? What If there is awkwardness?

    1. Tingting,
      I know that fear of awkwardness. However, when I come home it’s helped me look at my family and friends in a new way. I appreciate the time I have with them, even the boring moments I took for granted before. It can be scary going home, but I think it’s also important to do. It shows you where you’ve come from and reminds you where you want to go.

  2. It’s scary to be the Mother of a traveler, but it is also so satisfying to see how well you navigate through the world and to see you achieve your goals. I am so proud of the person you have become!!!

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