967

I find myself deeply reflective on this my last night in Lubbock.

It wasn’t what I imagined it would be. I remember loading up my car and heading west for a new adventure 967 days ago. It’s not easy letting go of everything you know, even when you have a touch of wanderlust in your blood. But I made a promise to my beloved and shoved away all of the doubts that tried to make me question my decision.

I landed in Lubbock on a hot, windy day in September 2015 thrilled to be done with the long-distance my husband and I negotiated for nine months so that he could begin his PhD studies. I made the choice to shift career gears to support him and I don’t regret that decision one tiny bit.

The time in Lubbock helped both of us to grow and learn a lot about ourselves and one another. Shifting from a one bedroom apartment after having lived in our own 3 bedroom home was an education I could have done without but despite the challenges, we made it work.

I’ve spent extended time in parts of the country that I never thought I would and encountered many beautiful moments and people. For those experiences I am truly grateful.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned in this time; however, is the home that holds my heart. I used to think that I didn’t have a place like that in my life. I’ve moved a lot and that makes it difficult to put down real roots in any one place. Yet, somehow, I managed to plant roots in Arkansas that took hold and called me back.

Home.

Arkansas is my home.

That stills seems amazing to me, but I know now that it is true.

So tomorrow, when I point my car east, it will be Arkansas or bust all the way. Sometimes you have to leave to come I guess.

Marta C. Youngblood is a writer, education and social entrepreneur based in Hot Springs, Arkansas. For more information on her current projects visit https://about.me/MCyoungblood.

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