London, Kent, Oxford, Bournemouth, Madrid, Ibiza, Hollywood, San Diego, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Big Basin, Florence, Umpqua, Redwoods, Humboldt, San Francisco, Joshua Tree, Los Angeles, New York, Ontario, home, family, friends, craft beer, BBQ, fast food, concerts, night clubs, birthdays, hikes, storms, wildfires, mountains, forests, beaches, deserts, rivers, lakes, city lights, sleepless nights, reunions, goodbyes, old friends, new friends, drink, smoke, laugh, cry, planes, trains, buses, endless drives, up, down, back, forth, here, there, everywhere, everything, go, go, go, go, go…
Jesus…did that all just happen?
Our heads spinning, our bodies in overdrive, our ability to plan and make sense of schedules stretched beyond their breaking point, we somehow made it through three whole months in the West. We left Uganda with intention, with purpose: it was time to leave an easy life, time to leave our comfort zone, time to throw ourselves into something entirely new, time to do this big crazy unforeseeable thing, together. Just the two of us. It was time.
And time didn’t seem to stop.
We may have done too much. We may have overexerted ourselves. We may have tried to see too many people, too many places. I’ve spent the past 3 months plagued with a constant feeling of guilt, guilt for not spending enough time with each and every person that I love, guilt for not having more of myself to give, guilt for not being enough. Some understood, some didn’t. Depending on when I saw you, you all spent time with a very different me (for those of you who saw me in New York, you got stuck with me at my most depleted, my most burned out, my most inept, my most worn down to the bone). I certainly didn’t get to see everyone. Some of the souls that mean the most to me were, in the end, for one reason or another, just out of reach.
I could only handle so much. I feel I owe so many an apology, but also know that, in the end, I needed to honour myself and my own stability. Whether I did that at all is a question that may one day need to be revisited. Too many days and nights spent forcing a smile and forcing a conversation, ultimately ending in tears in bathrooms across the country, barely able to hold myself together. It was surreal to come back to places I once called home, having changed so much, reuniting with people who had changed so much, in their own way. It was all a bit too much for me to handle in the state I was in, too much love perhaps. Transitions are hard to describe to those not in them with you. Anxiety is hard to describe to people that aren’t attacked with it on a regular basis. We all relate how we can, when we can, to whom we can.
But it was what it was, and it was something magical. For now, I am simply grateful that we saw as many beautiful souls as we did, as many beautiful places as we could.
For now, I am simply grateful.
Thank you to everyone who welcomed us with open arms, to the friends and family that came to love the woman that I love as much as I do, to those that offered their couches, their beds, their gardens and yards, their time, their energy, their hearts, their shoulders, their beauty.
We may have burned ourselves out, but that was so much better than simply fading away, from one corner of the world to another. Somewhere in between a life in East Africa and a brand new life in Southeast Asia, you were there. And I love you. More than I could express when I was sitting right there in front of you. More than I could ever express in words. I hope my actions showed some small sliver of that love. I hope it was all enough.
That’s all we can all hope in the end: that our actions, our words, our beliefs, our resolve, our dreams, our achievements, our selves – that all of it was enough.
I dedicate this next chapter to reimagining what “enough” might look like, to exploring new heights and new depths. For those of you who can share any part of it with us, we are here, waiting for you. With open arms.