For now… I am home

For now… I am home

It took me a long while to really get used to this whole ‘coming home’ thing… I didn’t want to at first. I wanted to continue to explore the world, discover a zillion and three more faces, understand this home of mine. I was a little afraid of being stuck back in this small town Iowa setting again. I went from the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland and the coastal mountains of the Cinqueterre in Italy to New Hampton Iowa…

In the few weeks I’ve been home, I have not had conversations with herds of sheep or dipped my toes into the Mediterranean, but I have eaten perfectly grilled sweet corn and danced in the rain of a warm summer shower with some of my closest friends and family.

I have missed far more than the adventures and excitement of the last year. I have missed the ‘family’ I have left on the other side of the world. But here I have been greeted with overwhelming love from the family I left a year ago. We have laughed and talked. We have danced and played. We have shared stories and made more plans for the future. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Yesterday morning I got up, walked to one of our local coffee shops, got an iced americano and just sat in the sun and read my book. It truly was a beautiful moment. But it wasn’t the book or the coffee or the sun that made me realize I missed this place I call home.

It was the people. It will always be the people. 

Someone calling to you across the street just to say hello, is a comfort a didn’t know I missed. The feeling of being able to be anywhere in town and see someone you know is something I  used to hate… sometimes I still do. But after not having it, I realize how reassuring it is to know you have people in the world. People who know you, who care about you. People like I have here.

I cherish those people in my life; the ones I have known from childhood who I can tell my deepest feelings to and the ones who I’ve only known for a couple weeks but care about me none the less. I know when I go back to Europe (because I WILL go back) I will have those feelings of love and comfort and recognition. Right now though, I will take the ones I have here.

I have missed this place.

I have missed this love.

I have missed these people.

And for now… I am home.


When Do I Become Me?

When Do I Become Me?

As time is ticking down to my 21st birthday I am beginning to wonder some things…. When do I really become “Branna?”

Was it when I was born? When I began to drive? When I first left the country? When I paid my first rent?

Or am I still waiting?

When I get married? When I have kids? When I buy a house? Or maybe not until the day I die?

These are the great thoughts my mind goes through on the eve of what is hopefully going to be my best birthday so far…. comforting right?!

Today at breakfast my uncle told me that I never really have to grow up, and I am totally fine with that! I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to call myself the ‘a’ word… *adult* But that still doesn’t answer the question of who I am.

I think I am a lot of things: a sappy romantic, a traveler, a dancer (who at the same time can trip over a lady bug), a student, a hard worker, a hot mess! I am so many things, but which one is actually Branna?

I’ve been sitting here stewing over it for quite a while, and I’ve come to the decision that I simply don’t know.

Each adventure I go on, whether that be traveling to a new country, taking a new class, or starting a new job, has helped me come closer to finding that person, but I’m not quite there yet. I am still learning what I like and what I dislike and I’ve still finding out who I love and who I can live without. These things are not static, they change as I change, and I think that is all part of finding out who you are.

Who is Branna Lace Elenz?

Right now, Branna is a girl who turns 21 years old tomorrow. She doesn’t quite know who she is but she’s making the best of the journey to find out! And as of right now, that’s good enough for me!