Monday, September 14, 2015

some of our last moments in Albuquerque 

I've always been a wildly indecisive person, dipping my toes into all sorts of hobbies, projects, places. I used to think that meant I was irresponsible. It was something I tried to stifle inside myself, especially after I became a mother. Even before my journey through motherhood began, I held onto a promise to myself that I would never make my kids feel like an inconvenience, that a day would never come when they thought that my wants were more important than their needs. The further I get into my relationship with them, the more I see this is as a delicate tiptoeing act. You see, my spirit longs to sample each and every bit of life like sips of wine. Some are swallowed with a grimace, but I'm glad to have tasted them nonetheless. Some are savored, so I choose to return to them. Some have been stored away, waiting for the right season of life to be opened and tasted. Some are tasted in good company and some are kept secret until I can indulge in them without sharing. I've been a lot of things and seen a lot of things in the past, some are still tucked away and some were just a breath, gone now. I've always thought of our journey as a linear one and pushed the idea of it being a full circle out of my mind, not wanting to end up where I started.

Where I started never felt like home. We've already done this once. It feels like something beyond deja vu and more akin to time travel, like we might be redoing our time from before, a time I was comfortable not visiting with again. Everything is exactly the same as it was before, and yet nothing about us is remotely the same at all. It's the same place with the same people and the same culture that almost buried me alive, and I was so relieved to have made my way out, and now I'm here again. Sometimes I wake up wondering if we ever really left, or were the last five years all a dream? A surge of gratitude follows as I accept that it was in fact our life and I'm thankful for all of the happy memories from all of our places we've made home.

The first thing people ask me when we reconnect here is, 'Are you glad to be home?' I never really know what to say. A lot of times I just look at Alex and let him answer, most of the time I just shrug, 'sure,' but what I really want to say is, 'Nope!' or 'Please don't say home.' or 'I don't really want to talk about it.' The older I get the more I admire blunt honesty. The truth is, this is the hardest thing I'ver ever done. Some days I wake up and make the best of it. Most days I wake up angry and contemplate hauling this camper out of here and driving as far away as I can until the damn thing falls apart on the side of the road somewhere. Leading up to the move, I just emotionally detached myself from the reality of it and buried myself into the newborn phase. For six weeks or so, I was Switzerland, neutral. Then as I stood out on our patio of our Albuquerque apartment watching Alex put the last of our things into a moving truck, the dam broke. I passed the baby off and hid in the bathroom and let it all come out. It was only a year ago today that we even left Brooklyn and then there was reacquainting ourselves with Albuquerque, saying see you in four months, being pregnant in Missouri, becoming re-reaquainted with Albuquerque, then saying goodbye to the beautiful lady all over again. You see, I hadn't even had a chance to mourn Brooklyn properly, so when I say I've been an emotional mess the past few months, I mean it. I feel like I should have a perpetual 'I would rather be in Brooklyn.' bumper sticker stuck to my forehead - because I would, and I will, always. After the mourning passed, I resigned myself to anger and that's sort of where I've been camped out now for the last few months. It's a hard anger too - it's the kind that eats you up, but you have no one to be angry at except maybe yourself and no way to fix it. Along with that comes a lot of guilt because oh my goodness - how many times have I moved my kid around now? And this was not the way I wanted to spend our first year with a new human in our family.

This is what we're meant to be doing, of course - building a home, giving our kids something stable, planting ourselves in a place where they can run barefoot and wild - and I've always known it, but it's confusing. Our barefoot and wild place was supposed to be off the coast of Washington, deep in the Oregon forest, or out in the beauty of Alaska - not among the haunts of our childhood. Does this mean I failed? I left with no intention of coming back, but here I am. We fought our way to Albuquerque and it effortlessly felt like home. We fought our way through Brooklyn and there isn't a day that goes by that I'm not reminded of her from some otherworldly force out there. No matter how hard I try, I will always wake up wishing I was in Brooklyn. So, I guess I've learned that home is wherever you fight like hell to be. I've been doing an awful lot of fighting here, so maybe this will come to feel like home after all.


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