If not now, when?

by fscc on November 2, 2007

Your time will come, he stated endearingly. I smiled, even though he could not see it, and thought, No… my time is now.

 I`ve been living in New York almost a month now, and it seems unbelievable that the time has passed so quickly. Already the experience has been an adventure and highly beneficial: I have met many incredible, extraordinary people and heard their amazing stories; I have made new friends and gotten in touch with old ones; I have proven to myself that I can figure out a solution to the most challenging situations– namely, how to move 3000 miles away from home, on my own, and figure out where the heck to go from there; and, last but certainly not least, I have brightened the day of a number of strangers by doing the one thing that I simply cannot keep from doing– smiling. =)

“Keep smilin` all day, baby, you`re beautiful…”

“You`ve got a beautiful smile. In fact, I was sad until you smiled at me. So thank you…”

Although the majority of my days on Long Island are spent in solitude, it has been refreshing and quite enjoyable; I love spending time with me, as we`ve become very good friends over the past 20 years. I have learned to take each moment as it comes, to make the most of it– whether I`m alone in a house on Long Island or exploring the streets of Manhattan– because each moment is unique and just as exquisitely beautiful as the last.

I know that my life is a little bit more than ordinary. I have many amazing accomplishments and stories under my belt, and I am headed toward countless more… I know that my time is now; I do not feel that days spent idle are days wasted, because this psychological vacation has done me well to get back in touch with my Self– and these days are never truly idle. I have had more time to write, to think, to draw, to read, to explore, to live, than had I jumped right into a full time job and full time classes.

I am able to enjoy winter sunshine through the large windows of our home, to appreciate the beautiful intricacies of life lived day-to-day… no, moment-to-moment. I am able to spend time with my family, my cousins and their three amazing, adorable children– to play with them, help dress them for outings, help them with their homework, listen to them talk about their day, put them to bed and read them their stories… A large part of the reason I jumped onto that one-way, eastbound plane was so that I could be a larger part of these kids lives as they grow up. And I must say that, although it has been rewarding being independent and figuring life out for myself as I go along, the most rewarding part of this particular adventure has been getting to know my family so much better.

Switching pace now; Throughout my life, I have travelled far, lived many places, and pined for change. I found that I have the ability to fit in anywhere, with any group, in any situation– and for some reason, this managed to make me feel even more alone, even less like I belonged anywhere. But now, somehow, I can feel like I belong. And I don`t mean to sound clichéd, I am not saying that I`ve finally found my home and now I can be happy– although perhaps I have, who knows– I am saying simply that I have come to the realization that my home truly is wherever my love resides. In which case, I have so many homes spread out through so many states and countries…I have a home in southern California, with my parents and brother at an adorable, cozy little house in a sunny little town… and a home a little more north of that, with my oldest brother and my beautiful niece… I have a home in Arizona, with my uncle and his wife, in their beautiful house in that glamorous desert city… I have a home or two in Colorado, with my sisters who, even when we don`t talk for years, are still my sisters… I have a home in Oklahoma with two of the most amazing, wonderful grandparents that I could have ever been blessed with… I have a home or five in Tennessee, with friends and family who have been nothing but supportive and enthusiastic… I have a home with my best friend and surrogate sister, on a gorgeous ranch in the Virginia countryside… I have a home in Pennsylvania, with my step-grandparents who are just as great as could be… I have a home in Germany, with my dear friends and host-family, who have extended me a permanent offer to return… I have a home in a little British village, with my English friend and his adorable family… I have a home upstate NY, with my cousin and his amazing wife and kids, in a beautiful, residential community… I have a home with my new, close friend and role model in Queens, whom I love and look up to like a sister (and hopefully soon, we will have a place together)…I have my new permanent home here on Long Island, with my cousin and his wife– who are both my heroes– and their three incredible, intelligent, beautiful kids… and soon, I will have another home in New York City, with my new sister and our comfortable, pretty little two-bedroom apartment…

Now, when I look at it like that, it`s pretty difficult to feel alone. How can I feel like I do not belong anywhere, when I have so many people who love me, and so many places that I can call home? It`s an amazing feeling, and although I know that [realistically] I will struggle to keep this frame of mind, it is a comfort to know that I can retreat to any one of these homes, should I ever feel the need to.

I`m so incredibly fortunate to have so many people in my life who love and care for me… And I hope you all know how much I appreciate your support and encouragement.

5 thoughts on “If not now, when?”

  1. Bina Gupta says:

    this image is like a piece of time in our lives

    when one can reflect, be serene,

    gather oneself and be at peace

    within and without

  2. As the photographer, Shanna Franklin, reflects on her incredible gratitude of knowing where “home” is. This image evokes in me the desire to write, think, reflect, pray, recognize and be grateful for the many blessings in my life! One that comes to mind is that of growing up on a small farm… I particularly remember one Thanksgiving when all the food on the table came from our own farm. Living close to the earth has helped me reflect about how God is present in and around us.

    Please share what this image evokes in you.

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Bina! I agree with you and love what you said about being at peace “within and without”!
    Peace and all good things for you!

  4. What an amazing woman, to have so searched your heart and soul, and to realize how many people love you and do have you at home in their hearts, too. We are extremely proud of you as always, but especially of the growth and strength, humility and love you show to all you meet. By reflection, you have not only discovered how to live well, but to express your feelings in such wonderful ways. We can’t wait to hug you in person – as you turn 21!

  5. Dear Blessed,
    Thank you for sharing your loving response of this creative young woman artist! She is blessed to have you in her life as well!

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