Christina Zastrow

The Long Way Home

When did I decide that happiness is unattainable?

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I’ve had a hard time lately deciding what to say here. The longer I search, the more I look for home, or for my own heart, the further away it all feels.

I am divided.

Beijing calls to me in many ways. When I am well and focused, I love the rush of people and knowing that history is just a subway ride away. But too often I am not well. My heart hurts and I’m left to clutch my pillow and ache to not be alone, even for a moment. And in those moments the rush of people, all strangers, is overwhelming and the history is too much. I crave the comfort of familiarity and people I know, who speak *my* language – not English, but the language my heart speaks when it’s bared to another.

I crave both Beijing and Chicago.

Perhaps there is a compromise somewhere to be found, but for now, I can’t see it. It’s all just desperately knowing that something isn’t right, that it may never be right, that I can’t have everything.

I used to be that girl, the one who believed she could have all her dreams, that she had the world on a string and that all she had to do to have anything she really wanted was to decide upon it and make it happen.

Where did she go? When did I decide that I’m not allowed to have anything I want, much less everything I want? When did I decide that happiness is unattainable?

More importantly, how do I get that girl’s excitement back? How do I decide again, that there’s nothing holding me back and that I can be as strong as the storm? The hunting down what I want is as easy as deciding what that is and then setting off in search of it?

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Author: Christina Zastrow

Somewhere along my way through life, I managed to lose sight of myself. Then when my first long term relationship fell apart I found myself homeless, unemployed, and without family or support system. I decided it was time to find my way home, back to myself. This is my journey.

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