… and it begins all over again. We’re closing in on our last New England Winter, a fleetingly beautiful, but more often, cumbersome thing to endure. And with that, my husband, S, and I are renewing the regular talks. Randomly he’ll say things like, “I was looking at that New Zealand expat forum today during lunch and I really got to thinking about living in this place called [I don’t remember]. The people were talking about it being really great and tropical to boot. The way they were talking about it, they made it sound like paradise.” And then we’ll be off, debating the benefits of living in a big city (relative to NZ) like Wellington, for the opportunities it will provide to our family. Or living in a natural paradise, but being in a smaller town, in this case about an hour from Auckland.
There are times, in retrospect, that the content of these conversations seem surreal. We’re planning on doing what? Going where? Paradise? It feels particularly strange, since there are parts of my life that are really really good. Only someone without a firm grip on reality would think about leaving. It’s a uncomfortable dissonance.
And so, while Sean and I have ramped up our interest and research, and discussion of all this within the confines of our relationship, I find myself avoiding thoughts of the move when I’m with anyone else. I won’t bring up my feelings about the move with my best friends and confidants. I know why. If there is already dissonance within my own heart and mind, I surely don’t want anyone to sew any further doubt. What can they say? What do I wish they’d say? That they’re jealous? That they’d be going if only they were bold enough? Of course they’re not going to think that, let alone say it, because we’ve got a good thing going here. It’s probable that there’s even a part of them that think we’re a little crazy for wanting leave. What, are we blind or something? Or just absurdly demanding about our quality of life?
I know that, initially, this move will be heartbreaking in as many ways as it will be magical and rewarding (we would only do this if we thought the rewards will ultimately outweigh the heartbreak). I know. I know that we have a good thing going right now. We have great friends, families who look after our kids, a surprisingly large group of people who have become an extended family to our own. Our daughter has adjusted to her first year of kindergarten. Our son is a happy boy with his little harem of girl friends, and a handful of big brothers to idolize. We live close to all sorts of great opportunities for ourselves and our kids, culture whenever we want it. We’re giving up a lot to leave. I hate allowing my thoughts to travel in that direction. And at the same time, I’m excited about the new adventure that awaits us.
So in a nutshell, nothing much has changed in a year in this respect. I feel like we’re at the start of a demanding, brutally hilly and long race, shifting our weight back and forth on our feet, shaking out our muscles, waiting for the race director to call our attention and pull the trigger of the starting gun. Except we keep waiting, with nothing to do but stir the thoughts of the race around in our minds and wonder if we trained enough, if we really want to do this, if we’re capable. The first of the year will be here before we know it and it will be time to start the steps of locating a job and committing to it. But for now, we wait and try to psych ourselves up without psyching ourselves out.