Embracing the Change
Parenting teaches us many lessons that may not come easy and yet they come to us none the less. Life before parenting defines freedom, a freedom that feels both good and lonely in its lack of structure. I remember longing for the days when I could wake up in my bed knowing that my home was my landing point, not an in-between life phase but rather the place where I had settled. And then the word hits me like a ton of bricks…settled….into…what? My husband and I are quite nomadic by nature, I suppose all humans are and perhaps some of us simply embrace the age old tradition more than others. Months after meeting, my now husband, we moved to South Korea for a year, Michigan for a year, Houston for two years and Colorado for a decade. Letting the universe take us where it wanted and enjoying the flexibility while craving the stability that was yet to come. Once we landed and planted some roots in Colorado we found ourselves surrounded by the most fortunate of circumstances. Living in a gorgeous North Boulder home, with our daughter attending top schools in the area, working a flexible schedule and surrounded by friends that are irreplaceable. Yet this word; settled, was festering in the back of our minds. Not because we don’t appreciate what we have, not because we are not thankful but because we, my husband I are refusing to let the life we have prevent us from possibility. Possibility of failure? Of course, possibility of hard times? It is an option. But possibility is what keeps us going, what keeps us feeling connected to ourselves.
It is hard reaching for what may be next. It is hard to accept change and the possibility of what else is out there. We are taking this life that we have, fortune and all and we are moving it west to California. I wish I could recall what exactly happened that brought us to this point and perhaps one day, when the noise has quieted and the tiny footsteps have made tiny footsteps of their own I will. Perhaps I will be able to sit and stare at a wall of photos that so quickly and elegantly wraps up our life in a few sweeps of the eye. For now I know that we are trading in the gorgeous home and top tier schools for the opportunity to be closer to family, to have support for this family of four we have created and to follow this nomadic adventure that we love. We have spent 10 years in Boulder and while it has been filled with wonder and joy it has also been void of something that my husband and I treasure deeply which is the opportunity to travel and see this big beautiful world. Parenting without family close by is comparable to parenting on an island. The ability to feel supported and to let go of the stress even for a moment doesn’t exist. It is time for us to choose a life that allows a let-down of stress and of feeling like the Atlas for our family, holding up our entire world for fear of letting go even for a moment.
The hardest part is embracing the change, letting go of the stigmas that come along with cashing in your million dollar home for a box on the western coast. The anger that comes from leaving friends and the sadness born from starting a new chapter. It is not easy to pack up your life, to tell your child that she must say goodbye to her friends and to know that your best friends in the world will be thousands of miles away. We worry about our daughter perhaps because it is easier to worry about her being able to embrace the change rather than focusing on our own inability to do so. Children are incredibly adaptable, they flex when they fall when we might break. They see possibility where we see anxious environments and they let go when we as adults hold on as tightly as we can. It is not my daughter I worry about, she will be fine. Both my girls (six and five months) will adapt to our new world, they will find friends, thrive in their environment, learn from the world around them and build memories to fill the void of the world they once new. If we did not have this faith in our children ability to grow from this we would not be doing it. As adults this transition is not quite as simple, we hold on tighter to the chapters before now. We fear making the wrong decision, we ultimately worry that while we aren’t happy, we might be even less so if we change. So we stay, grounded, routed, sedentary, sane. So here we go, we are embracing the change and to quote an unknown genius “smile, tomorrow may be worse”.
I look forward to that wall of memories, to the split second my eyes will spend flitting from photographs of Boulder to California and how this monumental decision and change will be nothing more than an inch of wall space between to photographed memories.
I am a mother, not a wizard. I share what is hard, what is scary and what is real. The rest I leave to you.