Saturday, October 29, 2011

My formal apology

Travel is so paradoxical at times. I've been out of America for well over a year now. Although it's gone by in the blink of an eye, I feel as if I've been gone for a lifetime. I'm two weeks away from my own bed and time seems to be moving at a glacial speed.

Then I start to think of everything I've missed while I've been away... Concerts, baseball games, celebrations, mournings, engagements, weddings, births, deaths, funerals, reunions, holidays. And truth be told, I feel incredibly selfish for leaving everyone at home.

After I said goodbye to Liana today, I was so sad. Then I went online and saw the Cardinals won the World Series and I felt alone for the first time in a long time. As pathetic as it sounds, I sat and cried in the middle of the airport as a rush of emotions went through me.

But then I started to think of what I experienced over the past 14 months. The people I met, the things I saw and the memories I made. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I'm so incredibly grateful for everything I've seen, but I also realize I have so much to look forward to when I get home; it's a bit overwhelming. I'm so fortunate for all the experiences I've had abroad, but perhaps I've even more fortunate to return home to such amazing people.

So this is my formal apology. As goofy as it sounds, and though it's doesn't make any difference, an apology to the Cardinals for missing such a remarkable season. My heart absolutely burst when I read that they won the series, but I felt such a disconnect from the team (and home) because that's all I could do... read the results. To my friends and family, anyone and everyone that I've been away from and missed the chance to say these things to in person.

I've been on an incredible path of self-discovery and finally the date to come home is within reach. Although I still have some discovering to do, both within myself and around the world, I don't think I'll be gone for such an extended period of time ever again. I can't make up for my absence, but I can promise that I will do my best to never miss these opportunities again.

Go Cardinals!


  1. Jena you are the sweetest most caring person I know! I am so happy, excited, and proud to be able to call you my friend. You have spent a year doing what most people only ever dream of doing and are still so humbled by all of your experiences! I am so, so, so excited for your return back to the US and to hear all of your stories again in person! Stay strong these last few weeks! Have an amazing time in Italy with your momma, what an awesome place to share with her!!! Love you lots lady!

  2. Don't you dare ever apologize for what you are doing! Nothing even that exciting has happened over here, that won't happen again or that you won't be able to hear all about and grieve, celebrate, catch up on, etc when you return! I am with Annie; so many people will go their entire lives without ever doing what you are doing, and those of us who can't..are more than happy for you and the journey you have taken over the last year! Be happy! Never sad for what you have done!!! LOVE YOU have so much fun with your momma!

    PS The Cardinals are soo good, they will win another WS Asap