A year and a half ago I sat in the airport crying as I was waiting to board one of three flights that would take me to Thailand. Despite my excitement to go, I was actually pretty scared, and at the last moment I wasn’t sure if I wanted to leave my family for 6 months and move yet again. I listened to the same song on my iPod over and over (for increased dramatic effect) wiping away tears as curious passengers looked at me with pity. When my body didn’t move during the boarding call I considered not getting on the plane. But then I coaxed myself out of my chair and made a promise that I would at least fly to Toronto and take it from there.
A coffee from Tim Horton’s seemed to do the trick, and once in Toronto I boarded the plane to Beijing with more excitement than nervousness. Partway through my flight, however, I began to question why I was actually going to Thailand, and wondering if it was a smart decision. Suddenly I wanted to get off the plane, but I was 6 hours in to a 13 hours flight. Shoot.
And then I got to Beijing where I was greeted by the most chaotic airport security in my life. At that point all I wanted to do was sleep, which is what I did during most of the 6 hour flight to Bangkok.
But then I was in Thailand, and the moment I stepped outside of the ice-cold airport into the warm, spicy 2am air, I was in love. I was at home. It was exactly how I pictured it.
One year ago today I left Thailand and began life in a new reality. In Bangkok I spent 6 months dancing on a mountain top, running wild with hope, and living in complete joy and trust. I felt more like Natalie than I ever have.
And though it’s been hard to get that Natalie back, I know that it’s not possible to live on the mountain top. We walk out our lives in the valley, with the vision that we gained on the mountain. I spent much of this past year wondering where that vision went, and wondering what it’s supposed to look like in this context. I can’t tell you that I actually know, but I’m learning to find grace for myself and to regain all of the joy and trust that I had when I was in Thailand. It’s definitely a long and hard journey, but I’m believing that it will be one with great rewards.