Generally, I don't talk much about my husband's military career. For obvious security reasons, but also, because although it is a big part of my life, it is not necessarily what I identify with as an individual. However, every few years our way of life sends us in a new direction. A new assignment typically means a new zip code, a new country and perhaps, a new continent even.
In four weeks time, our home will be completely packed up in boxes, put into crates and shipped across the Atlantic. My husband will start a new chapter in his career and the kids and I will spend the summer with my family in the south of Germany, before re-uniting in our new home for the next year: Del Rio, TX.
This is hard. Really, hard on me.
Texas (and please don't take this personal) is not my first choice. Mostly, because I'm very fair and Texas is very hot. I kid you not when I quote my dermatologist "Texas? I'm sorry, but Iceland wold be a better choice for you".
In the end, the problem is not where we are headed - it's the simple fact that we are leaving.
The only "home" my daughter knows. The "home", I birthed two babies in. The "home" we became a family in.
Three years ago we left the Seattle area (a place we loved) for Germany with euphoria and a tiny baby growing inside of me. I felt giddy at the prospect of spending a few years "back home". Looking back, the time spent here was full of happiness, and sometimes, full of sadness, but it was always very full. We had Smilla, traveled to countless countries, enjoyed every second with my childhood companions, and miraculously conceived another baby. We made wonderful memories with my father, and then, were by his side, holding his hand in the hours he left this world.
Sure, I married a traveling man and I knew what I was in for. My twenty-five year old adventurous self marveled in the prospect of experiencing different parts of the world. However, while I still feel the want to travel somewhere deep inside me, becoming a mother has made me a person with the desire to nest. I feel deeply rooted here.
There are obvious adjustments that come with moving. I have to find a new home, new friends, new ways around new towns. Then, I have to find my new self in a way. You see, every time I leave a place, I leave some part of myself behind and I take some of that place with me instead. It is engrained in my heart, my ways, my attitude. My growing self needs tending to, re-discovering and nourishing.
It is what it is. Come September, I will be living in "the middle of nowhere" Texas, right by the Mexican border.
I know we will be fine. Everything always turns out fine.
In the meantime, I try to look at the bright side (hello, Enchiladas!). I try to mend my breaking heart and say my goodbyes with gratitude.
And then there is always that old French Proverb that helps
Wherever life plants you
bloom with grace