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I didn’t consider Portland “home” while growing up here. And I certainly didn’t consider it that after moving away twenty years ago. Yet, now that the world has become my home, coming back here feels different.
I’ve learned that as much as our perception of home is one we can cultivate within ourselves, there will always be those places, those people, those things that catalyze a growth we simply cannot match with only our internal feeling of home.
I came back to Portland in early August for my brother’s wedding and decided to stay here for a while to return to my roots.
And now, on the eve of my departure once more, this time to a new culture on a continent I haven’t yet set foot on, I’m reminded of the intrinsic power of “home” — our families or those who raised us, the way in which we grew up, the places and things that impacted our development.
I’ve spent the last 20 years living in other cities, and the past three as a nomad, and these years have grown me beyond belief. By spreading my wings, I have learned deep courage, wider love, and how to accept uncertainty rather than fear it (or at least, fear it a whole lot less than I used to).
Yet there’s something about coming home to our roots that can grow us even more.
Still, we tend to avoid it. The reasons why are so telling…
We avoid being reminded of parts of ourselves that are no longer us.
We avoid the possibility that maybe we’ll have changed too much.
We avoid the possibility we won’t fit in or be loved.
We avoid the challenging conversations that haven’t gone so well in the past, but now we can’t bear to dismiss.
And here’s what we don’t realize when we put off going home:
By avoiding these things, by putting off confronting what feels like it’s so far beyond us now, we’re avoiding ourselves.
When it seems on the surface like what we’re avoiding is another person, place, or circumstance, what we’re really avoiding, is something within ourselves that’s ready to shift.
I’ve seen this in more than just coming home. It happens when people know they need to make that phone call or have that conversation, deal with that piece of red tape, or take that next step… but they allow the fear to stop them just enough to say “not now,” and just long enough for “now” to never come.
When we don’t choose, we’re actually choosing. Always.
When we avoid things — we’re choosing to forgo the gift of the growth waiting there for us.
And today, on the eve of my departure, I’m grateful I didn’t choose to avoid my family or my once-home. I’m grateful that time and time again I’ve made it past the excuses of, “I don’t have time,” “It’s too cold and rainy,” and “I’d rather be somewhere else.”
Because there’s no place I’d truly rather be than where the growth is waiting for me.
That’s where I find the next-level version of myself — the Jordanna I always felt to be real, but hadn’t yet witnessed in this lifetime.
Coming home this time around taught me how to receive more love and how to express parts of myself that had been wanting to be accepted — by realizing they were never actually not accepted in the first place.
It taught me to confront parts of myself that appeared to be the internal work of others, in a way that relies solely on what lies within me — and not on expectation or co-dependence.
It gave me the opportunity to express things to my family I hadn’t yet been ready to. And it taught me that not everything needs to be verbally expressed when so much can shift through intention and action — even when it seems we’re the only ones believing it.
It taught me that even when it seems we’re alone in a desire we have to change a relationship or circumstance, that’s usually not the case. Sometimes things can repair themselves simply by virtue of shared love and shared intention — even if the actual intentions are different.
Life is always giving us ways to cultivate our desires. But sometimes the opportunities for cultivation lie within the things that seem like they’ll take us away from those desires.
The difference exists not in our minds or our perceptions, but in our hearts.
Our hearts get to choose: will they seize the opportunity in every area of our lives when they’re ready? Or even when they’re not yet ready, but willing and courageous enough to go for it anyway?
So today, as I say my goodbyes to the home and everyone in it that supported me — whether they knew it or not — in seizing my opportunities for growth, I invite you to say hello to what aspects of your life you may have been avoiding or neglecting.
Maybe you’ve been thinking they’ll change over time. Maybe you’ve been saying you’ll get to them eventually. Or maybe you’ve been hoping they’ll come to you.
If you go to them now — if you seize the opportunity in that relationship, that place, that loose end that is waiting to be tied up — who might you become tomorrow?
I invite you to trust that, that version of you will be even more powerful than you are today.
In abounding love and joy,
Now I invite you to reminisce! Where have you already trusted in this, and how has it helped you become more of who you are today? Share with us in the comments below!