‘Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.’ ~ Anne Lamott
I am a lifelong Kentuckian – except for the four months I lived in North Carolina.
Growing up, I was always trying to get out of this state. When I was 18 and applying to colleges, I got a shiny brochure for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Something about the campus spoke to me. I wanted nothing more than to go there.
But, my parents had other plans. They wanted me close to home and put on the monetary pressure to make that happen. So, I let that shining light of hope fade away.
7 years later after a rough breakup, I decided now was my chance. I used the newly formed internet to secure a job, a roommate and lodging in the great state of North Carolina and off I went – tiny Uhaul in tow.
It was beautiful there – two hours from the beach and two hours from the mountains. I would take long walks in the forest and spend the afternoon lying next to the waves. The winters were mild.
College students were everywhere. There was a vibe of academia and excitement in the air.
But, at the time, I was terribly shy and ill equipped to be out in the world alone. I was like a boat lost at sea in a terrible storm.
Though I had plenty of gumption, I didn’t have the inner resources to weather a move of that magnitude.
And so four months later I returned broken and discouraged.
Things started to turn around and my dreams of North Carolina faded into the background.
I still dream of it sometimes and this little ornament of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse reminds me of that time.
Now, twenty years later, I am no longer that little boat tossed around by every rough wave.
I have ceased running around trying to save everyone else.
I am slowly learning to become that lighthouse – shining my own little light and seeing who responds.
When you do that, no matter where you are – you are home.