These days I've got more time on my hands then I know what to do with. When I'm not bouncing from city to city or teaching my few lessons a week, I am given the great gift, but sometimes the curse, of plenty of free time. Today it is cold and rainy, Madrid once again showing it's not so pleasant side with this ugly weather, but it gives me a good excuse to day dream, write, and plan. So as I sit here today, thinking of the vast future, knowing that nothing is decided and I can take so many different paths, I realize that I need some kind of meter to make sure I'm not making any abrupt decisions based on emotions or outside influence. As I wrote it came to me: the meter is balance. Balance and moderation. Dad always tells me that from his college experience, the one thing that truly hit home for him the most was a philosophy his professor told him about Greek civilization: the key to a good life is moderation. And low and behold, the more life I live, the more this inevitably is the case. Whenever things seem simply off and life is a bit out of whack, it always turns out that there was a lack of balance; that one thing was overwhelming my focus and I was failing to see the big picture.
Lately images of home keep engulfing my thoughts, leaving me with a warm, reminiscent feeling of all those familiar faces that know me well. I can't help but get caught up in that longing for home. If I am lacking anything here, above all it is the comfort of home. A familiar song from high school reminds me of silly moments riding around in a cram packed Jeep with nothing better to do than waste time between school and home. I think of college a lot, those perfect sunny days in Boone when everyone poured out of their dorm rooms to lounge the grassy quad, surrounded by the beauty of the valleys and mountains that we couldn't help but take for granted. My screen saver scrolls through old photos and I see a shot of our ridiculous costumes from our epic Halloween party with all my Atlanta folks. I'm making new irreplaceable memories here in Spain, but there is something to be said for an unspoken understanding that is so much more challenging to find here, thousands of miles from the US and all the people I miss there.
This is one way where it is a real challenge to have the balance. I love living out here, everything being new and exciting and building relationships with my friends aboard, but I do miss home and there must be a time for that too. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by these feelings of home, with a sensation that I need to change all my plans, pack up and go now. Other times I couldn't imagine being there. Today I feel a sense of appreciation for both. Mom and Dad will be here very soon for a visit and I hope this gives me that refill of home I've been dreaming of. Sometimes we all just need to be the most honest, raw versions of ourselves and that is very tough to do with people that are new. For all the adventure and excitement, it's time for my balance. It's time for comfort and unconditional love and people who know me better than anyone else.