Goodbye, Burlington.

2008. March. I dream of a blue trinity knot tattooed on my left wrist. It startles me, it’s so realistic. I wake up without expectations.

I have to start this in that way to explain to you the spiritual magnitude this place has had on me. We drove from the Hudson Valley to Burlington, Vermont. I kept the trinity in mind, after my mom, who was in the kitchen when I woke up, said, “Maybe it’s a sign.”

Maybe it was.

On the road to beautiful Burlington, I saw Trinity Farms, Trinity Church, then, at our final destination, Champlain College, a display on the Celtic trinity in the library.

It all comes full circle.

I got a job, I graduated, I got another job. Both times, I quit. Both times, it was for personal and professional growth. This time, it put me back in arms of my family, in the small ski town where they’re located.

I couldn’t be happier.

I’m loved in Vermont. I’m loved in New York. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for my friends and family, in either place, and, hopefully, they feel the same. I think a lot about how my life wouldn’t have turned out the same, if I had gone to another college. Would I have gone to Tanzania at 19, only a baby? What about studying in Dublin? Champlain College was an incubator for me, and I grew up strong and brave.

That’s it, though, right? The incubator phase must end. But sometimes, we keep on, trying to make it work because it’s the safest option, because we’re scared to grow or scared to try. I loved Burlington, and I knew it was time for me to leave, the same way the leaves know when it’s time to change and fall to the ground.

Fell to the ground.

And I stopped everything, re-focused, and came home. It’s good for me- it was a healthy and blessed change. Back in my old haunts, the boxing gym, my mom’s house, writing and working online, trying stuff I didn’t get to do in myΒ  oh- so-busy teenage years living here. There’s so much beauty, and so much heart, in these mountains- it seems to connect us.

That’s why that’s my mom’s house is where I chose- it called me, the same way Tanzania did, the same way Burlington did, and the same way I try to imagine I will feel when something else beckons, to help me grow and discover more of who I am.

There’s stress involved. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been graceful. There have been moments of doubt, of worry, or time sacrificed doing nothing, of peace. Fingers typing on a keyboard listening to windchimes outside, dogs sleeping peacefully, admiring the first snowfall of the season. Freedom, but really, sweet solitude, and a new beginning, and, hopefully, a happily ever after.

Burlington, Vermont is not going anywhere. I’m not sure I’m coming back- only time will tell. It really shaped me, and the friends that remain are friends I hope to share wedding toasts, children’s laughter, and many more years with. Right now, I’m resting, until my heart calls again.

Goodbye, Burlington.

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