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It’s amazing how a trip can change your perspective so profoundly. How seeing people you have missed can affect you so deeply.

Lately, I have gotten caught up in the unspoken competition of motherhood and family life. Wondering if I am a good enough mother, a good enough wife. Jealous of those around me who have bigger, better, more expensive things. Wishing I could do one stupid Pinterest craft. Facebook is my own private hell some mornings. And after all the “well, la-de-da, look at Mrs. Amazing’s post this morning,” – self-loathing mixed with judgement, I realize I have wasted half my morning in my pajamas and my kids are hungry and they will probably tell their therapist one day that I never really heard them talk and damn it, I am just like my mother on this fucking computer again.

But this trip changed that internal monologue.

Being away from my husband made me realize how much he keeps my life under control and how incredibly blessed I am to have such a solid, stable marriage. I often find myself getting caught up in all the places I perceive myself falling short and I have unfortunately let myself get carried away. Coming back home, road weary, heart both full and heavy at the same time, relaxing into my comfortable routine – opens my eyes to how beautiful that routine is.

Being born in one state and brought up in another, then repeatedly bouncing between the two in my teens, I have often wondered where home is. I always had one foot in each place, never quite belonging, always longing for where I was not.

Feeling like birthday parties are pointless because no one will come anyway, and my baby showers result in disappointment at all the friends who couldn’t make it, I tend to get disgruntled. I wonder what is so flawed about me the people I care about so often disappear. Now I know that I have been overlooking a very important factor.

Most people I know have spent their lives in one place, and most of their people have also remained in that place, whereas mine has been split in two.

I went back “home” – the place I was raised, and realized how much I left behind. So many people who would rearrange their schedules to see me, and buy me dinner, and love on my children. People who have loved me over a decade. I swelled with joy at their hugs and hung onto their smiles. There really is no place like home. And I am lucky enough to have two.