Leaving a Good Life
Close friends of ours recently had their first baby, a lovely baby girl. Matt and I have been surprised how immediately in love we were, with this little lady, her not technically being a niece, but pretty dang close. It's been so long since our own babies were that small and needy. We've forgotten all the long nights and tired eyes, the utter exhaustion and fuzzy brain. We just love looking at the little baby girl, finally on the outside for us to love.
My heart aches a little for things we'll miss in this year we will be away. When we come back , this sweet little baby could very well be walking and talking. So much can change in a year, not just with the babies, but with everything. I think of our other friends with their children and how much of them we'll miss growing up, or our families and the milestones they'll all be reaching over a year.
I know I probably sound like a whiner because "oh, poor soul, she'll be out in the sunshine with sand between her toes!", but it is never easy leaving a good life. In these final days before take off, the realities of being away are finally starting to sink in. Dates come up in the calendar and I realize "we won't be here for that". Perhaps my mind is just a little extra squishy and sentimental these days, but as much as this trip has been our dream for a long time, the departure sure makes all these feelings a little more real. I do feel that once we are off and away, a lot of the hardest "feelings" will be over, and we will be wrapped up in our adventure and I won't be as sad, but for now, I'm feeling it all!
I moved out when I was 18, and that goodbye wasn't too hard. Perhaps because I was still so young and there was so much adventure ahead of me it didn't matter that I was leaving my only childhood home. But I think that might have been the last time I have had to say a goodbye like that. I've stayed in one spot for a long time, and Matt has stayed even longer. He's probably always lived within 20 minutes of everywhere he's ever called home. This is a big step for him, too. As much as we're saying "of course we're coming home", which we do plan on doing, I can't help but think we might come back slightly changed, slightly different. I expect our perspective to have changed, our priorities to have refocused and our goals to be slightly altered from what they are today. These sorts of adventures change people, and maybe sitting on the cusp of all this change (and having the time to consider all these things) makes me a little nervous.
What we do know is that we are settling into a period in our lives of uncertainty and of the unknown. We accept that. I feel like I've shared that a lot here, so I do apologize if I sound redundant, but change is hard, even if the change to come is exciting and adventurous. Closing chapters in ones life is not an easy thing. We navigate these last days before we leave with grace, and doing our best to be at peace with how everything is going. Bear with us if our responses are a little short, or our faces a little weary: we are packing up some baggage, literal and physical. There is a great journey on the way, but as everyone knows, packing is just the worst.