I have missed four important birthdays,
the wedding invitation of my best friend of twenty-three years,
my sister’s favorite holiday,
early morning breakfasts and late night porch-sits,
scribbled notes left on bathroom mirrors,
weekend hikes in the afternoon,
coffee cup scandals,
wool socks over pant legs,
and the smell of pine.
I will miss the wedding,
the seasonal soirées,
the day that marks a transition in our family structure,
and the month that raises memories from the grave.
But in all of this, I have gained.
I have gained new birthdays to celebrate,
a wider gaze to appreciate the small moments,
and the proof that passion can strengthen your vocal cords.
I have gained an understanding that your dreams won’t move unless you run after them,
that bitterness is crippling,
that confidence comes from carrying your inner fire,
that ideas are hollow unless acted upon,
that life supplies you with everything you need as long as you’re brave enough to take initiative,
that the things you do should scare you or else you’re wasting your potential,
that you must grasp what you can while you’re young, but youth is not tied to age,
that patience slows everything down to a pace that illuminates the beauty of simple living,
that kindness requires courage,
and that people can never be more than people.
I have gained a partner in crime and a place amongst the wanderers, makers, and dreamers that are hell-bent on leaving the world a bit better than when they greeted it for the first time.
Sometimes you need to miss a few things before you can gain anything new.
Home will be there when I return.