As we waited for the shuttle to pick us up for the airport, my legs hung over our luggage in fatigue. To my right my husband let out a sigh of relief.
"Well, it's time to get back to relaxation."
I looked at him and could only muster up a very tired laugh. I couldn't wait.
The shuttle we were waiting for would begin our journey home.
Eight years ago I never would have imagined my life as it is today, even if I tried. Anxious to get away from people, traffic, fast food and noise? No way! I was a city girl and no dream job offer was going to change that. I mean, sure my heart was in Cape Breton but back then I was certain my future was not. I'll never forget the night G told me he was going to accept a job back home when I selfishly cried and told him to go without me, sure that we'd break up before I would ever take such a big step in the wrong direction. We had just bought a house in the city, I had a job I thought I loved and together we had a social life and a gym membership and places to go and people to see and BIG dreams. We had things to do on the weekends, we had restaurants we loved and nearby cafés that made seasonal lattes and the best scones you could imagine. There were bustling markets I loved to walk through on Saturday and places to go dressed up. I'd miss Hot Yoga... Or, at least knowing I could do Hot Yoga if I wanted to... Like that one time.
Which brings me to today - a big move, the purchase of our second home, and the loss of two very important family members later. Gone are those eight years and gone is my desire to ever again live on a paved road.
A lot of things have changed since the day I thought moving home would be the worst thing in the world. I have changed. I've learned that happiness isn't defined by what you have or where you live, it's how you choose to live. Everything I could ever want or need is here. A job I love, my family so close that I can stop and visit anytime I wish and a dirt road to run on that doesn't require a membership. The best part? The rabbits and squirrels don't judge my running clothes. At home, no one knows what time we arrived or how long we were gone - it's just us. It's not the bustling neighborhood with families polluting the streets, picket fences and bike lanes like we once lived in and certainly not the pricey condo with modern chic décor I once dreamed of - but it's much, much more. It's where the tea is always on, the art on the wall matches our souls more than our sofa, and where friends gather around our kitchen table to eat and drink and laugh and sing. It's where in or out, there will always be work to do - the kind of hard work that makes your muscles sore and leaves you bursting with pride at the end of the day. It's where there will always be a smell of a home cooked meal in the air and a breeze coming through the window. It's where there is always a project on our coffee table, a stack of notes and pictures for the scrapbook or an opened book taking up a seat on the couch. Our home is where we cuddle up and shut the world out, where we be ourselves and do things that make us happy.
I never thought I would feel this way, but nothing brings me greater joy than turning left down the bumpy road to home after a trip away. Even if getting there after an amazing vacation means being faced with a pile of leftover scrap wood that needs to go to the dump, a few trees that fell, tire marks on the grass and the overwhelming realization that we have A LOT of work to do...
...It will all get done, and we'll be so happy to do it.