Life is About Skills.

The second day of our trip, we met Alan, a 26-year-old entrepreneurial savant from Mexico City, who sold his business, packed a bag, and hopped on his bike with the intention of cycling through Central America. He happened upon San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua five months ago and decided to stay put for a while.

Alan spoke with me about his decision to leave his monetary success and security. Life was dull, he told me; it was consistent and safe, but restricting. He felt like he was in a prison of his own making.

He wanted out. He wanted to learn and do things he loved to do:

The older I get and the more experiences I have, I recognize: life is about skills. I’m learning French. I’ve learned how to teach people to surf. I’m learning how to communicate with many different kinds of people.

He is happy. He is peaceful. He looks at home in his skin.

Hours before I met Alan, I took a picture of my feet, journal and cup of coffee. The caption: time to write.

I scribbled two sentences before the girls woke up and our 6-day adventure officially began. I did not pick up a pen for the rest of the trip (on purpose). Every day, I noticed the ache of homesickness.

Home. Home. What is home? Phoenix. My house. My daughters. My family. My friends. My relationship. My studio. Me.

Yes, but there’s something else…

Absence is the ultimate litmus test for knowing what something or someone means to me: how important he/she/it is in my life.

Well, writing, the skill of writing, the art of writing and the action of writing is my home. Without it, I am homeless.

I think Alan is on to something: life is about cultivating a skill, because, once you do, wherever you go, your skill goes with you; you are home.

I could have written. There was so much to write about, but I wanted to miss it, to yearn for it. I wanted to test my connection, to measure how strong it really is and to see if I could go without it.

I can’t.

Writing is the walls and roof around my heart and soul. It provides safety when the world is storming around me.

It is my shelter, my shade, my skill, my love–my life.

This morning, I unlocked the door and walked back inside my words. It’s good to be home. ~Rebecca


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