When I was eighteen years old, I was sitting in my family’s house feeling safe and full of joy, when I noticed a door that hadn’t been there before. Ever curious, I opened it up and found a slightly bigger house on the other side. It had more doors than my little house. It took some time, but I eventually began opening those doors and what I found were larger spaces and a lot more doors. My heart leapt with joy at the wonder and excitement of unknown places to be discovered! Looking back, however, I noticed my family getting further away, huddled inside the safety of our little house. I reached back and cried, “I don’t want to leave you behind! What if I can’t find my way back?!” My parents said “Go. We’re okay in this little house!” I continued on, looking for doors and opening them with glee. At twenty years old, I heard, “Angel, come back! Your mother is sick, Angel. Come back!” I looked longingly at what lied before me and I looked back at what lay behind me. I moved forward and wrapped my hand around a doorknob, my heart pounding with need and guilt. I didn’t notice the tears running down my cheeks until the taste of salt bit my tongue. I knew I wouldn’t turn the knob and when I stepped back, I wondered what future lay beyond that door. I stared at it for a long time – maybe too long – and marveled at how I could so easily walk away from myself. Eventually, I hung my head and was aware that I already felt different. Less, somehow, than I had been before the call. I walked slowly back along the same route that I had travelled, noticing that every thing was exactly the same as when I’d left. Everything except for me. I opened the door to my family’s little house, to all of them staring at me expectantly, and I wondered why they didn’t know that I was meant to be more. That I wasn’t meant to stay in that little house watching the world go by. That I wasn’t meant to be like them. That I didn’t want to be like them. I looked behind me at my future one last time, and although I suspected it would happen, I was still surprised years later to realize that all of those beautiful doors had slammed shut, one after the other, while I stood there in broken silence.