Tonight is my last night in Brussels. I leave early tomorrow morning and to celebrate that, I came to a nearby gastropub to have a couple Belgian beers.
I didn't know from the Yelp description that it was such a happening place, but as I sit here post meal sipping on a Grimbergen, a common beer here but one I can't find stateside, typing on my phone, I know that I will miss this. Not as much as I have missed home, but I will miss this.
I almost didn't come. Did you know that? For about a week, I wavered on the decision after my initial residency fell apart, and my husband couldn't join me as planned for the latter part of the trip. What was I going to do in Europe for a month by myself?
Luckily, I bounce back quickly because I went into plan mode. Destleheide, a mutlidisiplinary artists residency, accepted me almost immediately. The rest also fell into place. A lovely, wonderful friend in Cardiff, Karen, opened her home to me and was the most amazing tour guide in Wales! I also managed to convince the peas to my carrots Sarah to meet me the last week. The final two weeks were filled with friends and lovely meals.
However, I can't help but flash back to something another friend, Sylvia, said/asked when I questioned coming. "Maybe this is what you need. Maybe this is what your book needs."
A month ago, I didn't have an answer to that. Now, I have been reminded of what it feels like to be a lone woman. I know what it feels like to feel lonely. I also know what it feels like to love being alone. I have missed my husband and my dogs and everything that makes my home, well, home, but at the same time, I've done the thing people talk about, and I didn't even realize it.
I quit my life for a month and wrote the first third of a novel, 20,000 words I am very proud of, and survived. I was gone for so long, I long for home. My bed. His smile. Dog kisses. The scent of his hair, cheeto-y, when he hasn't showered.
The initial decision to come here was lead by my bigger fear of regret. Now, I go home light, but ripe with ideas for my book Lola Coca Cola.