Anytime that I get to go back to my hometown of Water Valley, MS it is always special. I had the chance to spend a week during the Thanksgiving holiday there. Being around so much love was refreshing. It was a well needed break from all of the things going on here in Birmingham between school and work. I have missed all of my family and friends greatly. However what I thought was going to be just a normal visit back home ended up being the best week of my entire life. It was a week full of laughs, tears, hugs, and smiles. It was during that week that I realized what has been in front of me for years and how I have allowed my fear to hold me back from going after it. I had fallen in love with home all over again.
So this thing called fear has always been my worst enemy. I can be a very scary person at times. When I tell people this they sort of look at me crazy and say things like “really Jas, you seem so driven and go after what you want all the time.” Well I’m glad people can see that, but they don’t know what all I go through to convince myself to do something. This has been a problem I have battled with for years; whether it dealt with my career, academics, relationships, and etc. I probably could have been had my masters, an amazing career, a written book, and possibly married by now (yep I said married) if I didn’t let my fears get in the way.
It took a very special friend back at home to help me come to terms with this. His exact words “Jas you have got to quit living in fear. I think you are more than great. Everyone who knows and loves you knows you are special. Why can’t you believe that for yourself?” Now this friend knows me from the inside out so I can’t give one of my usual excuses or try to down play the question. He has always had a special place in my heart and is probably one of my biggest supporters. We have this unique yet interesting friendship to where we can’t hide anything from one another. He was not going to drop this conversation until I gave him an answer. My answer: I always liked playing things safe. I always thought that if I played it safe I won’t get burned as bad. Playing it safe wouldn’t have me on edge or stressed out. By playing it safe I would keep someone around just as friend when I know good and darn well we could be more than just that. By playing it safe I would save myself from embarrassment and heartbreak.
My last day home was bittersweet. I was ready to get back to Birmingham to finish up the semester and my internship at the radio station and move on to other opportunities. However, I did not want to leave. Something had shifted inside of me during that week being at home. I wasn’t expecting so much to take place during that time span but it did. Saying goodbye to home was a bit harder this time around. I knew it would be a while before I would come back and we see each other again. Home reminded me that no matter what it will always be there. I can always come to it and feel welcomed and loved. Home also let me know that it is okay to step outside the norm. Being normal can be a bit boring. Settling for less than what I know I want and deserve is crazy. Home now has a deeper meaning. Home is where my heart lies and that right there is just enough.
"Love with no boundaries. Your future depends on your capacity to love."
- Paulo Coelho