Read her story, I promise it will be worth your time and essential to understanding the rest of my post.
Whenever someone asks me what is interesting about Kansas I always have two answers: the stars and the sunsets. Both are because of the endless skies, unmarred by clouds or trees. The land in Kansas is mostly uninteresting; the sky is where the magic happens. The beauty of Kansas is one of constant change, you have to watch the sky because in ten minutes it will not look the same; the clouds will have moved and reformed, the sun will illuminate them differently. For me, that is what makes Kansasa beautiful and special. I miss the sky.
I have been trying to figure out where I want to be. Every potential home I would consider moving to has people who care about me, so it is really a question of what atmosphere I want to live in. How do I feel there, and who do I become when I am there? I like who I am here in Germany, what I am doing, and who I am perceived as. So, I am trying to decide if I want to stay.
I have grown so much here, and I want the opportunity to expand and develop more. Sure, I could grow back in Kansas, but here, I feel as if I have been planted in a pot of Miracle-Gro and placed in a greenhouse. My friends from Only Connect and aikido have been so supportive of me as an artist; they genuinely believe in me and want to watch/listen to me perform. People are more supportive of the arts in general here, and for the first time in a painfully long time I feel worthy of the title "musician." I have learned to love it again and remember why I started down this path in the first place.
The question is, where is my next path? I have reached the proverbial fork in the road, the choice between the road less taken and the Kansas dirt roads. I don't have to choose yet, because I have one more year in Hays, and I can't choose until I go back home and get some distance from Germany.
I realize that right now I am living a very cushy life--I am going to school and I don't work. I am in a state similar to euphoria, definitely on an upswing in my life. I know that if I move here my life won't be like the one I'm living right now. I am going to have to struggle, work hard, and be poor for a while. Germany is not magical happy land, no matter how I feel right now. However, fate's pendulum oscillates between misfortune and luck; it got stuck on hardship for about four years, but now it has finally started swinging my way. I don't know how much farther the pendulum will swing or if it is about to reverse and go back toward misfortune. Whatever happens, though, I know that I am prepared to handle it. Even if it rushes back to hardship I feel sure that my trials will not last long. Surely though, luck is going to be on my side for a while.
I want to ride this wave that I am on for as long as I can. So, if I come back to Germany I am going to keep my options open. Maybe I will stay for a year, maybe forever...I don't know. I feel my time here is not done, I have more to do and learn.
However, I can't just ignore what I am leaving behind. Though I have started building a life here, I already have one back home--the only one that until recently I have ever known. This is not a decision to make lightly, because it might not end up being a temporary.
So, when I read Connie's story I started crying for the first time since considering moving here. The story speaks of coming back to the places that are always a part of you, that never leave you. There is always something back home that you miss, and when you go back and finally see it again--friends, family, sunsets, and stars--you feel at home, but also frighteningly transitory. You hold it close for a fragile moment before uncurling your fingers and letting it float away in the swift Kansas wind.
You see friends whom you have not seen for months or years, and yet there are no awkward pauses, no feelings of having moved on, grown apart. You lock into place like scattered jigsaw pieces because you were shaped by one another. Each piece is a black canvas covered with specks of light, some bright and bold, others dim and hidden, each a facet, a trait of you. These lights form constellations--the warrior Hercules, the vain Cassiopeia, the hunter Orion--and move together in the picture you create of the night sky. However, constellations are not always present in the sky, they fade away with the seasons, and so you too must take your piece out of the puzzle.