Germany is a beautiful place full of beautiful people. I had an incredible time and am so glad I made the trip. I played shows. I ate astounding food. I made friends. I was swept up in the gorgeous countryside and historic architecture. But by the time Thursday's show in Frankfurt was over, no amount of beauty could distract me from wanting to go home. I couldn't stop thinking about my family. And I couldn't stop thinking about my project at the building. And after hearing about two more fatal shootings of black men by police officers, I couldn't stop thinking about the issues that need to be faced in the United States.
For me, home is where my mind is. And my mind was most certainly not in Germany.
My original flight back to the U.S. was set for September 26th, but I couldn't stomach the idea of waiting that long. So I went right from Thursday night's show to the airport. I got to the airport at midnight. Frankfurt Airport doesn't officially open until 6 am, so I paced its empty halls, pregnant and wiped out. I felt like Tom Hanks in that movie "Terminal." Finally, after 6 hours, United and Lufthansa opened for business. Neither airline would let me fly stand-by. But after much pleading, they allowed me to purchase a "ticket change." After a little bit of finagling, I was able to get on the 10:45 am flight to Chicago. My husband picked me up from the airport in Chicago, bedraggled. In the interest of beating jet lag, I managed to stay awake until 8 pm that night. At that point, I had been awake for 44 straight hours. I was a zombie.
And it was worth it.
For me, thoughts are more powerful than feelings. My body felt good in Germany. I was on a vacation. My muscles relaxed. My senses were overjoyed. But my mind...it wondered away every few minutes. No matter how good Germany was, my thoughts were in Rockford, IL.
Which is how I know that Rockford is my home.
There was a time in my life when it worked well to run away from everything and everybody. Time away helped me recharge. But those days are long gone. Today, I recharge by putting action to my thoughts. And even though I'm dead tired as I write this blog, it feels damn good to be back in Rockford where I can actually address all the people and things that I think about all day long. I'm home.
And now that I'm home, I have a really big week ahead. On Tuesday, I pitch my business plan for my hometown restaurant to all the big-shots in Rockford. Wish me luck, Reader; I'll need it! Whatever home is to you, I wish you a sense of belonging and peace during the week ahead. I'll see you next Sunday. -Em the bedraggled