Eight years later - uncannily, eight years to the day, yesterday-- I found myself wandering a vaguely familiar text box, hoping to start a blog.
I've bounced in and out of this text box since leaving mi querida Salamanca to return to Chicago in 2008. In some ways, blogging has been a hard habit to kick. I've been here while not here, jotting blog ideas in the corners of to-do lists, sending myself links and articles that tickled my blogging instincts, treasures that in my Salamanca days would have been transformed into posts. I've filled my Gmail account with post drafts. A time or two I've actually posted.
The eight year gap between the two starting visits was unplanned but lends today a symmetry I can't resist.
So, welcome. Shall we try this once more, from the top?
Eight years ago, I closed my first post with this wish:
By blogging I plan to catch my travels and adventures in words for myself and for faraway friends, but hey, maybe I’ll pay it forward. Maybe I’ll make just one person question if it’s worth taking a crazy dream off the back burner, just to see what happens.
My crazy dream long ago turned into a life I love and dive into in a way I didn't dive as a wanderer. My journeys have turned inward, and my adventures to exploring what most of us call ordinary.
Today, I close with another wish, from this 2011 post:
The wanderer has settled in, and drilled down. Wanderer has turned root-thrower, student potter, neighbor, mentor, dogsitter, gardener, pianist, citizen, burgeoning ukulele player. Boss.
I have traded the stuff I once thought blogs were made of - travel blogs, at least - for the stuff I believe life is made of. I warn you in advance. I am far better at traveling. If I always seemed incredulous when commenters called me courageous for moving to Spain, I was. Leaping to Spain was easy. Tossing away everything for a new page has always been safe for me.
Now staying, being right here with my people as life unfolds in all of its bittersweet beauty, that's another story.
And if you'll come by now and then, I hope to tell it.
Here's to new beginnings.
Thanks to Laura Young for the gorgeous bleeding hearts photo.