Everything we owned could fit into three suitcases. We boarded a plane from Bali, Indonesia with California as our final destination. It was time. After 10 years, we were coming home.
I was used to living with very little material items. Something about island living offers a very different perspective into what matters in life. I kept simplifying over the years, letting go of everything that didn’t have use or offer beauty in some way. It felt so good to rid myself of the junk — both inner and outer!
I wondered how it would be living in the western world again. Would I fall back into the patterns I had before moving to Indonesia? Would I take the different perspectives I inhabited with me? I had no idea what to expect or how to go about this major transition that came upon us so suddenly. I truly thought we’d be living in Bali for the rest of my days. Life sure does have a beautiful way of offering what we need for our continued growth.
Now, after about a year of re-integration, I still find myself a stranger in a somewhat familiar land. Very similar to the way I felt in Indonesia. Until very recently, I really didn’t know if I’d ever feel completely at home here. So much had changed in ten years — or perhaps it was me who did the most changing.
As I look around the small simple space my son and I call “home,” I am filled with a new sense of gratitude. I trust in the miracles that occurred to bring us here. I know that this is exactly where we’re meant to be. Little by little, we’re meeting beautiful people who remind me of the light that is everywhere. Home is settling into my bones, inviting me to surrender and simply receive what is so abundantly here for me — for all of us.
It takes very little to bring me joy these days. A bouquet of colorful blossoms, my morning coffee, books that offer a glimpse into another world, sweet little journals with colored pens, watching my son connect with new people, Pandora playing all my favorite new songs…the simple things that mean everything.
It has taken this entire year to go through the effects of reverse culture shock. I didn’t expect it to be so challenging, but am very grateful for every experience. It has opened my heart and mind so profoundly. I have learned how to embrace my strength, ask for what I need (and allow myself to receive it), and trust in the bigger picture that isn’t always so clear.
Trust. This is what it’s all about. Trusting in the love that is always here.
So, I open my arms in this moment and give gratitude for all of it.
…and for you.
Image found here.