I spent three great days back home in Brussels this past weekend, and going back to what my mom called my third home felt like slipping on an old pair of jeans–comfortable, soothing, everything in its place. My hotel didn’t have my room ready, so I spent a few jet-lagged hours wandering the town, falling back into what was my usual end of week routine of heading downtown to wander the narrow streets. I wasn’t going to see the sights–I lived there for three years, so I know most of what’s there. It was to reconnect with a part of myself that had gotten put away in a drawer after coming to the suburbs of New Jersey. I saw old friends, talked about old and new times, and had some questions posed that have stayed with me on the flight back. The biggest one was one not posed, but lingered in the air–what do you need to be happy?
The answer is probably not as much as I think, or what I’m told to strive for or what I’m expected to be. The walking around in Brussels was a symbol for what form a life may take: setting off for a distant land, exploring, discovering new sights and people, finding an alley you shouldn’t have walked down, and the urge and desire to see who you are what lies ahead. And the desire to sit on a bench, rest and take in all in.