Raleigh, North Carolina. I cannot begin to express how difficult it was to leave North Carolina. I was there barely a week (and have been there multiple times in the last decade) but it felt different this time. I was walking with my friend and her son and looking around thinking “this is where I want to be. this is where I want to have babies, raise a family, settle down.” I don’t know when or how but I’m pretty sure I will be back.
Raleigh, North Carolina (Part 2). This is where I go when I need to find myself again. I come home to my friend. The person that has known me before I was a confident kickass woman. The benefit of a college friend is that they see you before you start collecting all your labels – career woman, girlfriend, wife, mother, warrior princess. They see you just as you are – before you belong to anyone, or anything.
Manila, Philippines. This city with it’s dirt and grime and shine and sparkle. It holds a piece of my heart that I can’t ever get back. Being a province girl I never thought I would get used to the noise, the sheer visual traffic that overwhelms you when you’re used to fields, cows, sugarcane, and green, green, green spaces. But, 8 years later, I’m in love. I can’t imagine going to bed to the sound of nothing. I can’t imagine driving and not seeing all this hustle & bustle. This city has more character, more grit, than any place I’ve ever been.
These are my sanctuaries, my secret spaces, the places that have defined me and redefine me. Two very different worlds that sometimes pull me in opposing directions. Confronting me with the dilemma of trying to walk the tightrope and keeping one foot in each world.
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