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Unexpectedly Changed

May 3, 2013

image (This is our backyard view today. Greenish and showing hints of better days ahead, but looking all kinds of melancholy. It looks like I feel today.)

Ever since I’ve been pregnant with Gabe, I’ve wanted to move back ‘home’ to be nearer to our family. Tim and I had our family, and the wonderful part of living farther away from all our relatives was that we really became important to each other. But that also included some loneliness, because so often we’d miss events and people just because of the reality of distance.

We had been looking for opportunities to move back home, but between the distance and the realities of having a family, it just never came together. Tim wouldn’t move for a job that was a step back from what he was doing already, and I had come to realize that ‘home’ didn’t mean the small town I’d grown up in. Life is just better when it’s lived near take-out restaurants and bookstores!

After years of hoping to move home, it really did feel like an unattainable goal, right up next to winning the lottery jackpot or looking like a supermodel. And it’s very hard not to pin unrealistic hopes and dreams onto something like that. Who doesn’t think that looking like a supermodel means no more relationship worries? Who doesn’t think that winning the lottery is the key to your heart’s desire? Well, in my case, I couldn’t help but feel that moving home would mean no more feeling so overwhelmed by life. Over and over I would stop and remind myself that life doesn’t work like that. The problems in our lives are rarely simple, and the solutions are never as simple as they seem. But I’m not sure if it’s an overabundance of idealism and optimism, or whether it’s just part of the human condition, but it still seemed as if the summers were cooler, the husbands calmer, the kids obedient-er, the snow fluffier, and the babysitters cheaper back home. Parental utopia.

Well, we moved home. Tim’s job was downsized, and finding a new job was no longer a dream, but a very scary necessity.  And moving back home wasn’t unattainable at all anymore. Now it was inevitable.

Is it any surprise at this point that the reality of moving home is as complicated as any other part of life? We have a nice home, and it’s so very close to all the people we missed so much. And we enjoy every minute of time we’re sharing with all the people who are now practically neighbors in our life. I’ve spent more time with one of my brothers than at any point since we were both kids living at home. I’ve discovered that some people are not just relatives, but treasured friends as well.

But it’s mixed. There have been unexpected stays in hospital waiting rooms, and lots of changed plans that are only now really getting back to a recognizable normal. Gabe has had more difficulty transitioning into his new school than anybody expected. It’s a great school, and has way more resources than his old school did, but he doesn’t feel as comfortable in his own skin there. I’ve had more meetings and conversations with the new school staff than I ever did with anyone at his old school. Gabe’s going to get a great education. There’s just a few potholes in the path.

But really, it’s the people drama that’s bothering me most. People are idiots, and I know, being one of them. Everyone has the potential to hurt others, to say stupid things, to have a bad mood. But I’d just pictured moving back home as this wonderful thing. I think the biggest shock to my perspective was discovering that not everyone felt that way. And I won’t argue in the slightest that my view of things has been selfish. I wanted a life closer to what I valued. But sometimes, the way things are on vacations and visits are not the day-to-day reality.

In all fairness, almost everything is awesome. We would never go back to the way it was when we lived on the other side of the state. We have so many of the things that we’ve been missing all along. But I have to acknowledge my new reality: we’ve lost some things too. Or, more fairly, we’ve realized we never actually had some things we’d counted on all along.

And hopefully, after writing out all my gloomy feelings about moving, I’ll be able to start focusing on brighter, happier thoughts instead. 🙂

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