I don't know how (yet) to fully describe the yearning I've felt my whole life - to do something different, to experience new things, to discover new feelings, to digest things that feel good going down but won't feel so good later. I've always been that child. Physically, there's been places I've lived and seen that people only dream of. I can recognize that blessing and still know there's another side to this.
The only place I've really ever lived is in my head. Locations are backdrops, not anchors.
For people like me, (I know you're out there) love is not the same thing as proximity, being close helps, it might even foster love, but it's not always necessary to sustain it (think spouses in the military or refugee families separated by war). I've gotten very good at loving from a distance; in my younger years, by accident and more recently, on purpose. (I'm in my second life, that's a conversation for another day though)
Why did you leave? If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me that question, I'd pay for a ticket to go somewhere else again. Creating some distance between you and what's familiar to you brings you closer to yourself. That sounded very Buddha-ish but hear me out. When we're surrounded by our family and friends, all the voices start to sound the same. For instance, I've had two friends in particular who had very strong opinions about my relationship. (This is not to say your single friends don't have good advice. They're just not in a relationship with your partner so let that simmer) As they projected their #relationshipgoals onto me, I really began to believe that shit. Example: Valentine's Day matters. Since when? I don't like flowers, I'm allergic to chocolate and holidays make me anxious. (Anytime I'm expected to have fun, fun is the last thing I have) That's a small example but soon it became overwhelming. More and more, I was hearing & using their voice instead of my own. I felt bullied into agreeing with their expectations.
When I took space and sat with my own thoughts without outside influences; when I relied on prayer instead of venting - things became as clear as day. There was no confusion, no compromising, no back and forth - it was just me, making decisions that were best for me. I didn't need advice. I needed silence. I didn't need comfort. I needed the growing pains. I didn't need seven voices. I needed two ears; to just listen to my own unbreakable spirit.
Moving gives you a different sense of self (remember when I said, I'm in my second life? Here's why) When I go back to the places & people I used to frequent (let's admit it, some people are entire countries that we've been living in for years, without citizenship & we all know how bad that can end up), I don't fit there anymore. I don't understand the language as fluently. Whatever they serve does not quench me or nourish me. It literally feels like poison. It's an outer body experience where I'm asking myself, why the fuck did I ever engage in this? And when I get back home, away from all the noise back into the peaceful bliss I created, the answer becomes clear as day. Your ass never touches a hot stove twice. I was there once to learn that I never need to be there again. Point taken God. I can hear you laughing up there.
Leaving everything behind is a lot of things. You don't even realize that the biggest thing you're leaving behind is your old self. You're so focused on experiencing something else that if never crosses your mind - you are going to become a completely different person. I've spent a lot of time alone and I've been lonely. I've met people who have been kind to me even when I was a stranger. I learned how to be transparent with my new self. I've learned not to simply want love, but how to facilitate it in healthy spaces. I've rid myself of so many addictions. I've prayed more than ever. I have literally fallen to the floor and picked myself back up without any mention to the squad of homegirls that I was on the floor to begin with. I've learned how to communicate effectively and quickly because I cherish my time more. I've had to work harder for it and I remember too vividly when I didn't have much of it. I've learned to stop apologizing for your pain and ignoring my own.