So I took a short trip back to memory lane. As I stood in front of the house I lived in for seven years, I couldn’t help but wish time would magically dissolve. I miss the days when I lived on a street of friendly faces who took the time to chat it up, hang out and interact. It was one of the happier times in my life and every direction I turned reminded me why. There are some places that seem to fit comfortably and others that never will. The reality is, sometimes we are forced to spend time in a place we don’t want to be and we have to focus on what is good instead of dwelling on what is bad. Until you learn to be happy wherever you are unconditionally, you will never actually be happy. That is my little reminder today to embrace who you are wherever you and be okay with whatever that is.
Some days of my life could be straight out of a sitcom. Yesterday was no exception. We started off on vacation and the excitement really started to build about 45 minutes before we pulled into park. I could hear the little ball rolling around in the cans as the kids shook them up and down. Even my husband got in on the action.
As soon as we stepped out of the car the pungent smell of manure immediately filled our nostrils. There we were, the four of us marching elbow to elbow, holding our guns and ready to shoot. Like experienced graffiti bandits, our steps quickened and became purposeful as we scoped out the scene and chose our next defenseless victim. There it was in the distance, a perfect Cadillac just waiting for us to leave our mark. Tops flew off and spray paint started to fly. You couldn’t hear a pin drop except for my own voice shouting at the kids to point the can with the wind. “Don’t get paint on your clothes I screamed, but it was too late. They were like maniacs pointing and shooting in every direction. It was corny, it was weird. It was awkward but I must admit, it was kinda fun.
There we were in Amarillo Texas at a place called Cadillac Ranch, where 10 Cadillacs were there waiting to be transformed by another can of paint. It was a place to let loose and let the paint fly as you sprayed your name on the car of your choice. Just for a second, it was your creation, at least until the paint ran out. Then, off we went, elbow to elbow back to the car fighting headaches from the strong smell of paint.
After we left I couldn’t help but think how similar we are to those cars. We come into the world leaving ourselves open and vulnerable to each person and experience that crosses our path. Each person is like a can of paint and every interaction changes who we are. Like it or not, everyone leaves a mark. Some leave a beautiful mark forever stamped on our hearts, but others leave something ugly and we are forced to keep putting ourselves out there. The good news is that the only thing that is really constant in our lives is change. Every person and every event gives birth to a new person each and every day. We learn, we grow and we adapt as the picture of who we are changes with time.
It was a neat experience. Like I said, a bit corny but a crazy kind of fun. If you look closely at the pictures you can see how serious we took the responsibility of transforming our car. And yes, even I couldn’t help but spray my name there at least for a moment until a new family came along. Hope you enjoy the pictures, it was a unique experience we will never forget.
I remember the day vividly. With a heavy heart, 7 years ago I boarded the airplane with my family, the dog and the cat and said good-bye to my beloved Texas. I had spent 7 wonderful years there raising my babies, making memories, making friends, and then turned back to take one last look before my life was about to change in a very drastic way.
Why Texas some will ask? You weren’t born and raised there so why do you consider that your home? I just shrug my shoulders and smile to myself because whether anyone else gets it at all, when the heart knows, the heart just knows. Sometimes there is no specific explanation, it is just a feeling that makes your heart feel cradled in love.
We just stopped in for a 3 day visit. I realized while I was there that the last few years something has been missing. I knew the second we pulled into all the old places where we used to spend so much of our time that the healing had begun. It didn’t become evident to me until now that I had left a large portion of my heart behind. I have carried a sadness and a longing for the last few years and I just couldn’t figure out why. I guess a great big chunk of my heart stayed I’m Texas. No matter how hard I try I have been unsuccessful in making it whole again in the places we have lived. It’s not necessarily about the people, it is more about a lifestyle that the surroundings of a particular place provide.
They say once you return to a place it isn’t the same. I tell you this. As I traveled from park, to hiking trail, to scenic spots on the lake and river, it was just like the first time. My heart was filled and I feel whole. Even the kids put down their phones and let the kid inside them play. My heart burst open when they competed to see who could swing higher as they played in the park, and I watched with joy as they skipped rocks across the pond. We have been so entrenched in nothing because the area we live in just does not offer the things we love.
I say this, when the world gets ugly, go someplace you know there will be a better view. Find your happy place and be where your vision of the world is beautiful nearly every day. These are some of those places I have the best view. Come along with me and take a look.