I’ve been thinking about home and what and where that is for me. Honestly, I can’t give an acceptable explanation.

As much as my parent’s home in Carmi will always will be home to me, I don’t feel at home there. Of course I feel the unconditional love of my parents every time I walk in their back door, and of course every childhood memory I have originated there. They moved to this home in 1973 and have never lived anywhere else. It is where we all started and where we will probably all end.

I have spent many miles on the road for my career over the past 10 years. I spent too many days away when my boys were teenagers when I shouldn’t have. I hope they have forgiven me by now. I hope that my struggles, and theirs, helped to make them who they are—and who they are is awesome.

I have spent more nights in motels than in my own place in the past four years. I have also spent too much time in my friends’ guest rooms and on their couches. My home has always been open to my squad, and they have graciously never turned me away when I have shown up on their doorsteps not wanting to be alone. As much as I crave my solitude, at times I have needed them to feed me, hug my neck or just be a physical presence without saying a word. They all know my life story and they all know my dream.

In the past two months I have been trying harder than usual to get grounded with little success. I have looked at way too many properties and am overwhelmed trying to make a decision. I leased another apartment, but it’s far from being my home.

I know why I can’t think straight. I know exactly why. I have had a dream in my head and heart for way too many years to count. Realistically, I never thought this dream could possibly come true.

Too many days of silence almost had me giving up hope, but I didn’t. I have been patient, which is not even close to a word I would use to describe myself. I told myself every cheesy cliché about patience I could find. I sat on my hands when I probably shouldn’t have. I let things just play out. I intentionally stayed away, stayed quiet and never trolled around. I didn’t know what was going on in his life, it didn’t matter.

There were so many months I was just a few miles away, but drove on by like it was nothing when my heart was pulling my truck to his exit. There were many nights I stood on my balcony looking toward Illinois wondering if he was looking toward the city and thinking about me. I still don’t know if he ever was. With every business decision I made, I tried to imagine what his advise would have been to me.

Now, I’m trying to keep going like nothing is different. I am trying not to alter my schedule, my work load or my mindset. Nothing has changed, not really, not yet. But I’m ready. I have been prepping for this moment, I have been training my team for the day I can walk away. All I need to hear is, “today is the day,” and this girl’s lifestyle changes.

Tomorrow is Monday. I will pack my bag and hit the road, but I still have the same dream; now, it seems like it might come true.

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