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"Take me home, country roads..."

Books are made of chapters. In each chapter, stories are told of people, their lives, families, careers, relationships. In every book ever written, a chapter is longer or shorter than another, or sadder or happier than another. So is life made of chapters.

Sometimes, before a significant change of places, jobs, personal events like death or divorce, fear and uncertainty blur our minds about the possibilities ahead. Sometimes, excitement and the promise of a better life help us leave behind all that was most dear. Occasionally, we are so deep-rooted in our old life that to look ahead might seem impossible, especially when we appreciate our routine and security.

Change is necessary for growth. Of course, leaving anything behind has its pros and cons. We always have to learn to live without the benefits and advantages we had before to gain the blessings and largesse life we seek. It takes patience, calmness, reason, and goodwill to reach the same stage once we embrace our new life. Until the day we realize it’s not the same stage, but a more excellent moment filled with purpose.

That moment may come suddenly when we look back and can’t see us going back anymore. We remember all that we had with tenderness and nostalgia, but we don’t long to have the same life again.

Suppose I learned anything from all the experiences growing up moving from one place to another so often, even cities, countries, cultures, languages. In that case, it is that we humans are adaptable and teachable. Most of the time, I feel like I don’t have a place to call home, but that’s because there’s not just one place I can call home. Home is where you are living that moment. There’s nothing we can’t do if we put our minds and effort.

This John Denver song translates the feeling:

“Life is old there, older than the trees,

Younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze

Country Roads, take me home

To the place, I belong…

Dark and dusty, painted on the sky

Misty taste of moonshine, teardrop in my eye

Country Roads, take me home To the place, I belong…”

( I sang this song before one of these life changes, and you can listen to it by clicking HERE.)

Yes, sometimes changes are essential and welcome. Like moving back to the place we spent most of our youth growing up, with the family and people who love us around, even if most of them aren’t there anymore. Still, when we leave behind our security and safe life, seeking personal happiness or being closer to those we love, it’s heartwrenching to go. The opportunity to embrace the new, even if we unknowingly, and perhaps anxiously, think there’s a less exciting life ahead.

The secret is to unpack it all. Even if we stay in someplace for a short time between stages of our lives, we have to live each moment with eagerness and giving the best we have in us so that we can enjoy each life moment at its fullness. This way, sooner than later, we realize we live life the best we can and understand the different seasons we all have, belonging to where we must.

We don’t have our parents and those we love by us in this life forever but the next. We can’t keep our youth and stability the same way because it depends on so many things that we have no control over. So, adapting and learning new ways is a constant and unavoidable part of life, and it shouldn’t be a surprise for any of us.

It all depends on how we embrace our days, striving to keep the bigger picture in our sight, hoping but working hard and tirelessly to reach the top of our next mountain. Most times, when we get there, we look ahead again and see that there’s even a higher mountain to climb. That's okay. This is what life is all about, striving and moving forward, finding excellence in every aspect of our souls, and belonging to each place we decide to call home.

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