We have almost officially finished our second week in Bellingham and are about to move on to our third week. I know I won’t always count our time here in weeks, just like eventually all parents stop counting the weeks and months of their children’s ages – but for now, tracking in weeks makes sense for my confused brain.
Because that is what I am, so very confused and lost in transition. Part of me has fully accepted that we have moved because it wouldn’t make any sense to not believe that: most of our boxes are unpacked and we’re settling back into the normal routine of household chores and normal life… or whatever normal life is when you completely transport your family 1,210 miles from the old “normal life.”
Then there is the other part of me that unconsciously finds myself comparing our new home and our new city to that time Philip and I went to Chicago for vacation or that time we road-tripped as a family to Zion and Denver. I catch myself thinking this while cooking or cleaning and I just think to myself, “Brain, that was silly, this isn’t vacation.”
The physical act of leaving Burbank was much harder than I prepared myself for it to be. The last week was emotional and hard between trying to say goodbye to the people and places and things and also trying to finish packing with a toddler, busy husband, and very pregnant belly. I didn’t really cry, except for a few special moments such as saying goodbye to three of my best friends and walking out of Disneyland with Philip and Jude – but I fully planned and expected for the crying to come once I was driving behind Philip in the truck and going up the 5 freeway out of the Valley.
But nope- the tears came flowing well before that. First in our very empty house, surrounded by some of our favorite people and empty Costco pizza boxes. Second, as we lingered outside our cars with a smaller group of our people. That was hard. A hard I was not prepared for.
Man, moving was so right but crap, it was so hard. Leaving the Valley, physically driving up the 5 and leaving behind the exit for my favorite freeway, the 118 – I suddenly felt a lot like Voldemort. Yes, Voldemort. Let me explain, with some big spoilers…
Physically leaving the San Fernando Valley felt like leaving my soul behind in several people, places, and things and throwing out Horcruxes as I went. I’m sure Voldemort felt the physical pain of making a Horcrux in the beginning and I most certainly felt my soul being ripped into several pieces as they fluttered away to their new homes.
Is that weird? Because it’s the truth.
Just in case it is weird, here is a quote from Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier to explain my feelings in “normal” people terms.
“We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.”
How truly exciting it is to be able to find new things about myself in a new home.
No, I’ve never read this book but I found this quote while searching for some way to adequately describe my feelings outside of a Harry Potter reference and I feel like it adequately does justice to my newly planted and hidden Horcruxes in the San Fernando Valley.
So now we move forward with finding our new normal life. Life in Los Angeles was always so busy and in our marriage, Philip and I have always been so busy, so involved in (many) different communities. Now I get depressed looking at my Passion Planner because there is nothing for me to write in it. If you know me, you know, my planner is my second Bible. We are so not busy and I have to remind myself that this is good. We are a soon to be family of 4 and a cat and just moved 1,210 miles away from our old busy lives.
When I stop dwelling on the negatives of, “well I’m not busy because I have no friends here,” I am reminded of the positives: I have free time to focus on my family, I have free time to focus on my dreams, I have free time to make the new life that I want here in Bellingham.
And that is just so freaking exciting.
I’ll end this novel of an entry with a little story…
On our last morning in our home in Burbank, Philip and I were moving around the house packing the last things and clearing out rooms while Jude was in his high chair eating breakfast. At one point he had finished eating and wanted a banana and when I brought it to him I asked if he wanted it on his tray and his response was to point to his plate and say, “No, rih heh.” (No, right here.)
It was his first full sentence on our last morning in our home where we spent two years as a family and all I could do was just turn around slowly and look at Philip in shock. I had a lot of time to reflect on thoughts as we drove north and what I came to was this:
Our little boy is growing so much and changing radically from one day to the next which really means life is constantly changing – regardless of any big moves out of state we might have. If we stayed in Burbank our life would still be different one season to the next and I can confidently mark that in Jude’s development and the growth of my pregnant belly.
So why not have our change happen in an exciting new city? I miss our people and places and things a lot, but I am 100% down for this new challenge.
Most of all, I am so excited for all of the new adventures we are going to have.