The Missing - Part 1
Yesterday I sat in the car as we pulled up to 7-eleven and I cried. The tears were building not long after we left the house. But I couldn't let it all out until we stopped.
It had been exactly 2 months to the day, since we touched down on Australian soil. There have been many things I have missed being here, some I know instantly, like standing in a supermarket and not seeing my familiar go to brands. Other times the missing comes like a longing. A longing for the familiar; to surround myself with things and people that know me or just a familiar place that feels like home. And then it can slowly dissipate and disappear only to reappear again an hour, a day or a week later. And now I find out there is a third kind of missing I feel. It is the one I wasn’t even aware of, literally I didn’t know I missed it until I got it back that day.
This one was a surprise to me because it was hidden behind multiple emotions, or even multiple losses that were compounded. At first I felt it was my freedom that I missed. Freedom to go at any moment to a store and be back in 15 minutes or less with whatever I wanted. Freedom to go stop at my parent’s and surprise them with ice cream just because I wanted to, or to just go over to a friend's house to visit. This seemingly small freedom to just get up and go was all of a sudden gone... That's what I thought I missed and I am sure it was part of it, but it definitely wasn't all of it.
Then I figured it was me just feeling a little claustrophobic. I mean we as a family had taken vacations together but this was different. We had 20 bags to our name (literally our names were on all the tags) we were bringing 2 large bags each and two carry on's that is it. Although I did leave behind a room full of stuff at my parents house, because in the end my mind was mush from all the decisions I had made. And I could no longer decide what to do with it or I had no more room to pack it now. So our entire house's contents, 4 bedrooms, basement, storage, living room, family room, dining room, kitchen and garage, plus our business and personal vehicles were gone…. And we were now living together in a small house 24/7.
Josh and I had never spent that much time together and our whole relationship dynamic was out of whack. We were re-inventing our roles while trying to have a bedroom with the kids bedroom semi attached. This was new for us and challenging. But we had the best Papa in the world letting us stay with him to sort it all out. Which was both awesome and terrifying.
So yesterday I began my first drive to the store, on the opposite side of the road. I have my first mistake as we leave the driveway and I start heading out on the right, keep left I say out loud. (I couldn't count how many times Josh and I have both said this, to ourselves, each other and the kids in 2 months.)There is no one there and I am going like 2 km but I was starting to naturally lean right. As I take my first left at the end of our extremely quiet street it begins to set in. I begin to feel this car, it's a little punchy on the gas pedal and I touch the brakes to see how sensitive they are. Hands at 2 and 10 I feel the curve of the road as we go up the hill and begin to stop at one of the only set of lights in this whole place. I hit the wipers on my left instead of the signal light on my right. We just had a discussion and I believed the switch had always been on the right back home, but my natural reactions tell me I was wrong and yes, he was correct.
My breath begins to catch in my throat as I turn onto the first main road. He asks if I am nervous. And it is a little nerve wracking being on the other side of the road, but not as much as I had thought it would be. I tell him" a little but that's not it". As I pass the primary school it hits me, I missed this. The steering wheel in my hands and the pedals under my feet. It felt like home to me and I am so so so happy. I AM FILLED WITH COMPLETE AND UTTER JOY!! And the tears are forming from pure happiness, but I hold them in.
I had not realized it was not just my freedom and space I had missed so much, it was my absolute love for driving! And I never even realized I loved it so much until that very moment I began to drive again. Two crazy traffic circles and two more times that I use the wipers first before the indicator lights and I pull in at 7-eleven. That's when I cry, and that's why I cry. Being able to have something back you didn't even know you cared so much about is absolutely wonderful. And I hope it happens again as I explore this land down under.