Departures - Today is the day I died.

My slave ship to America awaited.
"Titanic was called the ship of dreams to everyone but me.To me it was a slave ship bringing me back to America in chains.." ~Rose Dawson Calvert

I'm dead. I know that now. It took eight days for it to happen, but the person which I was then is no longer here. Indeed, she has split off into two people as she entered the departure area of London's Heathrow airport. One who stayed in Europe, and the other sitting here typing this tonight. It's about 9 pm, which is about 2 am London time. I'm tired, and exhausted after our eight hour flight, yet feel deeply I need to write something, even if it is full of grammatical errors.

I wish I could say I'm glad to be back; but let's be honest, I'm not. Every little bit of who I am screamed for me to not get on that plane today. Like the stories of people you hear who escape fate by precognition, changing their plans last minute and avoiding a plane crash- I knew even if my Titanic didn't hit an iceberg, that part of me wasn't coming home today.

I spent a good part of the year prior to this trip getting over what I thought were silly ideals, and juvenile beliefs from our previous trip. It took a good amount of time to mend my broken heart, to accept this unrequested American life and just get on with it. In fact I had succeeded in every definition of the word, but it was all a facade, a lie, a way of dealing with the truth which I now told myself was just a fairy tale. I really had gone somewhere special. It wasn't a figment of my imagination. In fact the friends I had left behind in Europe, which I had wrote off as romanticized psychosis were indeed, despite my therapists beliefs- there and waiting for me. Yet on this side of the pond in my dysfunctional American life, my cynical, often callous friends and family continued to insist I was an idiot for believing I was capable of being somebody that someone else might wish to befriend. I think I still wonder they're right, is there something wrong with me? Do I have nothing to offer worthy of human companionship?

I learned a very important lesson on this trip. In fact several lessons. I learned family doesn't always mean "family", sometimes it shows up thousands of miles away in the least likeliest of places. In a pub in Bruges, a restaurant in Bristol, or a market in Cardiff. Acceptance and love doesn't require conditions, or prerequisites. It was generous, warming and most of all heart-felt. Everyone is deserving of this. It's something I've always tried to extend, but rarely have had the chance to have it extended to me. I had forgot what it was like and I'm grateful for our family and friends abroad who made me see that there is more to this world than who we were yesterday.


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