I am so far from where I started.
I am thousands of miles from that island in the sun, those thirty-miles, so far from my Grandmother’s kitchen.
Growing up, all the adults ever talked about was dying in this place or dying to get out, dreaming of making it to the States. To us, everyone who lived in the US was rich and their lives were full, their land plentiful, and they longed for nothing.
Growing up, I never knew the value of this spot, this speck in the water.
I was the little girl with the Yankee father, the man from Brooklyn, the man who was supposed to be our ticket out of there.
It was always about getting out of there.
And even as a child, I had dreams bigger than that place. I knew I wanted to be rich, I knew I wanted to be famous, and one day sit next to that lady on the TV, Oprah, and tell her my story. Whatever that story was going to be. They all wanted to leave and I was no different. So, we left, came back and left again and it seems like all my life I’d be coming and going, never belonging, never being home, again.
I am so fucking far from where I started.
And after all the miles and all the years, all the success and failure, the people, the places and the things that have kept me, all I can think of is going home. Back to the house I was raised in, that simple life where there is no pomp, there is no circumstance.
There’s just my Grandmother’s kitchen.
For it took a trip around the world to make me realize that, in reality, it is there, on the island of St. Thomas, where everyone is rich, their lives are full, their land is plentiful, and they long for nothing.
So, I’m packing my bags and that little girl sitting at her Grandmother’s table, wearing her ballet slippers, leotard, and tights with her hair in a French braid –– that little girl is going home.
I am going home.
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