Recap from my trip home to Michigan

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I recently returned from a week long vacation home to Michigan where I visited family and met my new niece, Della.

It was the first time since moving to California over 5 years ago that I felt completely at home and in-sync around my family. I felt peace and connection. I didn’t feel any blockage of emotion and It was free flowing and full of love. It was difficult to leave. As I was flying back to San Francisco I remembered why my brothers and sisters were my best friends, I’ve always been able to be myself around them. We may not always agree but they’ve always supported me.

In the past, I struggled with regulating my emotions. I didn’t like seeing members of my family going through tough times and so it always made it hard for me to show my love for them because I was running away from the moment, in my mind, as a way to escape the pain I felt from seeing the people I loved down on their luck. I’ve always been sensitive, but it wasn’t until recently that I learned how to love through my sensitivity and be able to sit with my emotions as they cycle through my body.

One of the reasons I think I felt so connected to my family this time home was because I wasn’t so in my head about wanting to love everyone. Instead of just wanting to leave home with everyone knowing I loved them, I was present and actually loved them. I turned my focus onto them and it made a world of difference.

I had the privilege of dancing with princesses at a magical ball with my niece.

I held my new niece, Della, and felt her loving presence pulsing through my heart. She is already a light in the world. I can feel it deeply.

I had a cannabis conversation with my nephew. He made a 420 joke one night and although it was funny, it also told me he was old enough to learn about cannabis. I told him about my relationship to the plant, that I didn’t consume it until my wrestling career was completed in college, and that he can always come to me with questions.

I don’t support kids consuming cannabis but I want him to have the right information to make an informed decision when he’s faced with it in the future. He’s likely to encounter classmates using cannabis, alcohol and other drugs in the next couple years throughout school.

I don’t remember my parents ever telling me about cannabis or talking to my siblings and I about sex, or other of life’s sensitive topics. We were pretty sheltered in our small Mid-western town. They could have been more transparent about things but I don’t blame them. They were kids raising kids and they did their best. I’m thankful for that and them.

While in Michigan, I also spent a little time and money on the van I lived in for two years. I want to purchase a new one that I can live in once my lease ends in November, but I need to sell “Kamala the van” before making it happen. The van sat covered by a tarp this winter and the alternator froze, so when I jump started it, it snapped the serpentine belt.

I learned how to fix it by watching Youtube and then I went to the local part store and bought a refurbished alternator and new belt, then went home and replaced it. Now the van is listed for sale for $5k. It is a 1998 Ford E150 with 190,000 miles and is a DIY camper van that comes fully loaded with a 100 watt solar system, 6 LED lights, an electronic roof fan and vent, and a kitchen vanity with storage and a sink. It was incredibly reliable for me during the two years I called it home.

My Dad and I haven’t had much of a relationship since after I graduated high school, around the time him and my mom got a divorce. It took a long time to get over the pain and religious confusion I was feeling before letting go of the bitterness I was carrying around, but now that I have let it go it feels like I live in an entirely different Universe. I also hadn’t spoken to my grandma for over 7 years but while I was home this time I had a chance to see both my dad and grandmother and it was really nice.

I look forward to the next time I get to fly home to the mitten. Thanks for sharing a moment with me. Stay blessed.

Below are a few photos from my trip: