Finally, finally back in Illinois. It is good to be back around my stuff, my girl, my cat, my home. Each time I return to Alabama I feel both like I belong and also like an outsider. It's a very strange feeling, like being a guest in your own house. I stayed an extra day to spend some time with Matt. It was a good trip, like a replacement Thanksgiving. But part of the time, I feel like I'm wearing different skin, there. And here, I feel more complete. It's a growing up and letting go process, it seems. Trying to figure out how to fit myself together. It's easy with Michelle. It's one of the reasons I love her... because I feel most at home, most like myself, most happy and complete when we are together. Outside of us, it's a different story, one I'm trying to find my way through. For me, this year has been a puzzle. I can only imagine what 30 is going to feel like.