This post is about being lost and what it means to find the way back home.
I have been lost more times in my life than I can count. Maybe I should say I have felt lost. Like I didn’t have a direction satisfactory to me. I see people who are much older than me, many younger than me and it seems there is a sort of Kismet amongst the lost.
We tend to locate each other somehow.
At some point though, I realized I have this inner compass. Call it the Spirit. Call it instinct. Call it intuition. What I do know, is that it can only be a gift from God because it’s guided me through. When I couldn’t figure it out I was fortunate enough to have friends who could at least call me in off the proverbial ledge of misguidedness. They knew I was lost. Many of them have covered me over the years. And that’s nothing but God. (You realize of course, God does work through people right? I believe in outright miracles because I have seen them happen in my time. Mostly though, God works through people.)
I’ve been in DC a little over twelve years now. It’s become home. It feels like home. It smells like home. I’m not fond of the wafts of sewage in the hotter months, but c’est la vie. It was only today, looking out of my window, did I realize how I have grown to love the city. The rain today, the way the sky looked, instantly took me back to Lagos and a few of the days there. It wasn’t always that way. When I first moved here, between Baltimore and DC, I had a hard way to go. But it got better. The relationship with the city has become an affair. I may have been born in Detroit, raised between there and Birmingham, but DC fortified me into a bonified woman. The city isn’t for the faint of heart. It and all of the surrounding area can easily eat you alive and swallow you up and send you home in shame. If you can make it here, everywhere else is a piece of cake. Interestingly enough, I feel the same way about Birmingham and Detroit. It’s all love, but it’s not easy.
I used to think the only place that was home was the little house in Detroit. When I couldn’t go to that house anymore, my concept of home had to change quickly. Home can mostly be where my things are, where I lay my head but it’s about so much more.
What I’ve learned, it isn’t the location. It’s the people. It’s the friends and family. It’s the family we create as we live. It’s all the love that defines home. Being the extraordinary genius child I am, I have created the most perfect family of the weirdest, most beautiful, kindest and talented individuals who love me and I love and adore them. In this case, I was given the gift of choosing how to design my family. And they are in extension to my parents and my close cousins.
I’ve also come to know there are just certain people who make your life feel like home. I’ve been living for thirty seven years and change and there are some people who just make you aware you’re living the right life. Have you met anyone like that? If not, I pray you do.
It’s the person you’re vying to spend time with, the person who after all of the dust clears and they’re there it makes you feel like everything will be ok. It’s the person you want to see walk through the wings of the hospital doors when you’re sick. Or to be there to comfort you when things are going wrong. It’s someone you don’t mind spending long amounts of time with or waking up to. It’s the person who occupies your thoughts the majority of the day. The one who you can talk to and still not have enough. It’s someone that as the days, months and years go by, being with them never gets old. That if you need to know who you are, you can always go and talk with them and they remind you of your real, true self.
And guess what? We don’t really get to choose who these people are….
But hopefully, when we do meet them we’re able to provide the same for them. There will be those that come and go. Prayerfully, we get to keep those we feel and love the most.
The best way to set our compass if we’re lost is to set it to those we love. To put the beacon out. Some days I feel like I’m a lost ship at sea and those I love are the lighthouse. Other days, I am the lighthouse and they are the lost ships. But as long as we are within a radius of each other, home is always just a visit or a call away.