My parents divorced when I was young, and ever since, I've had this loyalty complex. As kids, it was mostly about mom vs. dad, but over time it extended into other relationships and situations. Like, for instance, don't be surprised if I come to visit you and never leave your side. It's not that I'm needy. But if I decided to take a walk alone or make a phone call, I feel like I'm choosing that over being with you. Or, say you bought me a toothbrush but so did my brother. Even if your toothbrush was the best in the world, I couldn't use it first. I just couldn't pick that one over something my brother gave me. See what I mean?
This has plagued my heart often, because every time I move, I feel like one home is replacing another. And when I make new friends, I feel like I've picked them over the old ones. I resist embracing the new place, in fear that it's like shutting the door on the last place I called home.
I realize this is silly, so I'm learning how to shake this thing. I'm learning how to freely love all of the homes and friends and families I've come to know. I'm learning how to choose a location, or hobby, or toothbrush (ha!) without making it personal. But it's not easy. I have to, like, re-program my brain.
So...just because I love Thailand, it doesn't mean I love America any less. And just because I'm living overseas, it doesn't mean I'm choosing that over my friends and family back home. ...Right?
I'm learning that it's and...not or.
In fact, I just left "home" in California to come back "home" to Bangkok. Had such a great time with family and feeling rather blessed by it. And just because I loved being there...it doesn't mean I can't enjoy being here!
Some highlights -- and be sure to check out the pictures below as well!
- For only the second time ever, I got to spend Christmas with my whole California family (dad, stepmom, all four brother, and me!).
- Then all of us went to Paso Robles for a few days, which included my first wine-tasting venture. :)
- I spent New Year's with my little brothers, eating Coldstone ice cream and playing "Band Hero" in our living room. Great bonding.
- My last night was, in fact, my twin brothers' 14th birthday! For the first time, I got to celebrate it with them. Shoot, they're growing up and all that!