My definition of 'home' is not where I was born. That sense of belonging has forever changed, and it's okay.
Home for me is not one place, but several throughout the world.
I am from Grand Rapids, Michigan, but it is just one of several places I have called home throughout my life. Nowhere in this world sets me as off-kilter or do I find myself as lost as when I am there.
It saddens me, but has to be acknowledged for what it is.
My role with my family and my hometown has consistently been challenged over the past twenty years, my sense of self needing more protecting and nurturing while there.
The tools of my expat life help. So I turned the car around. Thought of myself as an expat in GrandRapids, in Michigan. Looked around with foreign eyes. I found the beach, after two hours of wandering. My sense of empowerment shaken, but intact. My inner compass spinning, but slower now, at times pointing in the right direction.
In the days since, I planned a trip with my son. We will tour parts of my state that I have never been. Reclaim my sense of identity through travel, yet still close to 'home.'