Slip off shoes and place in bin.  Take quart-sized zippie of liquids from top of carry-on and place in bin.  Take laptop out of pouch and place in separate bin.  Step through, wearing clothes picked out specifically to contain no metal.  Put on shoes and smile while carry-on gets hand-searched and travel mug is checked for explosive powder.  Replace laptop in pouch and zippie in carry-on.  45 seconds flat.

This autumn I returned from my fourth long trip away from home, burned out on the travel while grateful for all I had seen and experienced.  More than that, grateful to be home and newly (but secretly, at the time) engaged and snuggled on our couch in our living room with the puppy perched regally on my legs, front paws crossed daintily like so.  Eric clicked play on the DVD player, and I was back in the airport.  This time, however, I was in the company of George Clooney, shuffling along behind him and taking notes as he deftly got through security in the blink of an eye, wheeling his life around behind him and never getting weighed down with the things that weigh you down.  Half admiration and half pity, I understood the sweet freedom of his lifestyle.  I also understood the sweet promise that ultimately grounded him, 30,000 feet up in the air at the end of the film.

I was glad to be home.

Today feels like the real, true start of 2011 for me; Korea is a chance to spread my independent wings one more time, while also preparing for my transformation into interdependence.  To tune in to the identity shift from single to married, to bid goodbye to my maiden self and embrace fully my matron/mother self – there is such excitement in my belly as I write this!  I say bring it on!  I’m throwing it all up in the air.  And we’ll see what comes floating back down.

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