Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to
- John Ed Pearce
They say home is where the heart is, and for me that couldn’t be more true.
I have lived in 3 different countries, travelled to over 50 on 4 different continents, and yet ask me what my favourite place on this planet is and the answer is simple.
Victoria, British Columbia.
Now, I was not born here, but this is the place where my life began.
Last month I experienced the joy of travelling home after 8 months away. It was like I came home after finishing another pro season, although that was far from the case. I was travelling back home after making a move to a new city to pursue a new career with my sport. I was travelling back home after having the life that I sought out turned out to be the opposite from my reality. I was travelling back home after many months of confusion, frustration, pain, physiotherapy, loneliness, and broken dreams.
Though I will continue to speak about the lessons that I have learned through injury, the personal growth that has changed my perspective in approaching my daily life, and the gratitude that I feel that my situation is not worse, I will be the first to admit that it has been everything but easy. Easy is comfortable, and my life lately has been far from it.
At the risk of sounding like a broken, sad, pathetic record, it has been an extremely difficult two years. I have experienced overwhelming amounts of doubt. I sit on a see-saw of whether I want to continue to pursue something that feels a million years, and a healthy body away. I long to settle down and make a life, but I battle with lingering thoughts of regret for not giving things just one more try.
Each day I wake up I have an increasing sense of saying f*ck it.
Give it up.
What's the point?
I don't think those feelings will pass anytime soon so I continue trekking on. But, boy was it nice to go home and get away. To celebrate other people and be celebrated.
To share. To inspire. To create. To connect. And to love.
It's what I crave. It keeps me going. To create bonds with people, however big or small, that can leave an impact that is shared over years.
When I was home I had the great honour of attending two events. The first, as an athlete ambassador for Team BC at the lieutenant Governor's house. And the second, as one of the first 4 recipients of Spectrum's distinguished alumni. An evening to celebrate the accomplishments of graduates from my high-school. And during my week at home leading up to the event I had a lot of time to reflect back on my career, my life, and the important people who have been a part of it.
I spent the evening with my very special people. Mom, Jeff, Tanisha, Jordan, and my very first volleyball coach and his wife. We bonded earlier in the week by comparing scars from our knee surgeries. We reminisced over phrases he used to say, and things my sister and I used to do. At the reception we laughed, and shed tears over a very special bond that was created many, many years ago.
Home will forever have my heart.
My people will forever be my reason.
And giving back will continue to be my purpose.
I hope you enjoy this video of my speech accepting my award. It's horrible quality (thanks mom), but it's touching for me to watch. To see the impact someone had in my life reciprocated right back. A mutual respect and a deep sense of gratitude.
I am eternally grateful for my small corner of home, and for the people who have added pieces to my puzzle along the way.