the day I arrived home.

Booming thunder. Howling rain. I remember this day, like it was yesterday. I was walking home from work, when a full-in downpour caught up with me. A big gush of wind blew past me and shoved me violently. Hundreds and thousands of water droplets clung to my lashes and dropped down my cheeks, blurring my vision and wetting my lips. My hair glued onto my face and every layer of my clothing was soaked. The rain was almost a roar with how heavy it fell. And just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, a fast-moving Cadillac brougham hit a mud puddle and its wheels flung clods of mud directly on me. I was a mess. 

As I approached the front door of my home, I fumbled in my bag to find the keys. “How come I can never find them?”, I groaned. I gathered my strength, made a jab into the ripped seam of my bag and yanked out my keys. I turned the knob and the door flung open. I felt elated. Yes, the journey was long and rough but it was worth the trouble. I was finally home. 

Chills were running up my spine. I wrapped my arms around me and said, “I’ve got you, I love you and you will be okay.” That’s how things unfolded at the time but rain drops eventually dry off. 

I glanced at the mirror and genuinely smiled at the lovely woman staring back. Instead of numbing out after my tiresome walk, I came face-to-face with my own inner thunder and self-destructive mask. I listened to my body and acknowledged the truth, without judgment and shame. I was no longer muddy from my own mistrust. From that moment on, I just knew it. The mat was always at my front door, waiting, lingering to welcome me back home. 

The following morning, slithers of sunlight crept through the blinds, casting a vibrant orange light across my apartment. My heart was beating. My chest rising and falling. I was alive. And for the first time, I started to notice things: the fresh bouquet of roses placed in the center of the dining table; photos of family and friends, decked the walls with love; birds provided the music to my party of one; the freshly-baked croissants brilliantly enhanced by the lighting; and brewed coffee. Oh, coffee! In fact, I had two cups of coffee that morning because I couldn’t remember the last time it tasted this wonderful. I felt the love emanating from within me. 

My legs were dangling off the edge of the couch, my cheekbones pressed against the windowpane, I gazed upon the beautiful world below. My perspective was wider this time and obstacles so minuscule. Suddenly, a slate-grey dome imprisoned the city. Clouds indistinguishable from rooftops. The branches of the trees started to wave. And as the first droplets of water crashed onto the pavement, I threw my head back in unrestricted laughter and screamed, “free shower!”. 

 Come home to yourself. You are so worth it.