You know the saying, “It’s all just a little bit of history repeating“? For many – if not most of you – that is the feeling after spending more than a few days with your immediate family. We’ve all been there and as I stood in Midway Airport in Chicago writing the first part of this blog post, I know that statement to be true. But also very very false.
The last time I was on my way to the great state of Iowa, I was scared and nervous. (Okay, that’s not entire accurate as the last time I was there, I was saying goodbye and driving away.) But in October 2010, I had a different kind of farewell; and I made my peace with it. When I drove away from the only real home I have ever known, I was scared, unsure and energized.
Now, going back, it is about healing, rebuilding and creating dreams. I needed this time off. So, I went home again.
It’s amazing how much changes and yet how much stays the same from the places you always knew. I did a lot of great things while back in Iowa but in the end, it was about reclaiming my peace. And on one hand, I found it. One the other, there is a storm brewing. I can’t yet say what that is, but keep an eye out.
There is a long list of things I enjoyed while back. I spent a lot of time just driving the roads of the state; alone. Just me, the road and the radio (to steal a line from Kenny Chesney). It was peaceful and serene. I also had the great fortune to spend time with some of the best friends I will ever know. They have seen me in good times and bad and we all shared some much needed laughs.
My vacations are never without a little work though. Last fall before Thanksgiving I returned to my high school to spend an afternoon with their newly formed Gay-Straight Alliance. Eleven months ago, it was a small group. This time around, the room was full and two students even had to sit on the floor. Words can not accurately describe what it felt to not only be in front of an audience again, but to see how much these students cared about each other. It was an honor to have those two hours with them and show that a student from this high school can, in fact, be gay and successful in this world. And yes, it does get better.
The time with my family was also much needed. And you can go home again. I did. I survived. And I’m excited for the road ahead.
In his much famous Stanford Commencement speech back in 2005, Steve Jobs said:
“Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
It has taken a long time, but I am beginning to believe this particular line. Life is funny like that. Just when you think you have it all figured out, life happens. And it happens fast. And you can’t stop it. You can’t control it or predict it. And now, I just have to believe and trust in my gut, in destiny, in something, to get to the end result that makes me smile. This trip may have been the start of some amazing things … but only the Universe knows where these dots are going. Perhaps some day I will look back and laugh at the path they took.
Laugh, and smile.