I had an hour before my flight so I scoured the stacks of magazines, finally settling on the Oprah one because of the headline: What are You Longing to do? It made me smile because I already knew the answer, as if I'd asked it to myself over a week ago. I was longing to be completely present with my family, to hold a newborn and smell his soft skin, to listen and be engaged with my daughter with my whole mind, and to let go of all shame and apology.
I was completely present in Boston as never before. There was no wishing to escape outside, no part of my brain wanted to be somewhere else to smoke. I held and cuddled my newborn grandson (and on occasion when he let me, the 4 year old) and breathed in deeply the satisfaction of the connection. I sat and talked with my Rachel as never before, with no anxiety or internal pressures. I was at peace.
On that flight home I read the stories of other women who did what they longed to do, and they were interesting but not compelling for me. I have come to a place where I'm just fine. And when I walked into my apartment, saw all the things I love, I breathed in the air of home.