Thursday, December 30, 2010

Oh, Hey There. Remember Me?

So, yeah, um. Hello. I've missed you, you invisible sphere of eyes and ears. So much I want to say, but first I will address the question of where the heck have I been? Well, I have been working on a project of lofty literary aspirations. A book. A. Real. Book. Wow, I feel so grown up and stuff. I felt that in order to focus my attention on that project so that I might actually complete it, I needed to take break from this here little baby. Is it completed you ask? Noooooooooooo. But close, very close and boy am I excited about it!

Now, frankly, I can no longer contain the verbal spew frothing out of my brain and since this is my preferred method of expulsion of said spew (I always have had a flair for public spectacles) then let's be off.

We are moving to Guam. Where is Guam, better yet WHAT is Guam, you ask? Well, it's on the other side of the world, in a land far, far away. It sits east of the Philippines and north of Australia. It is an island. A very small island with a large military presence. Hence the move.

Properly articulating my sentiments about this is difficult because they are a twisted and convoluted ball of emotions that I can barely disassemble enough to make proper sense of. It is becoming easier, as the days go by. When I first heard the news all I could do was google the place until my eyeballs felt like they were bleeding. There is no doubt it's beautiful. There is also no doubt this will be one of the hardest things we(read: I) have ever done. But, in the process of wrestling with my inner self about this I have learned a few things. And here they are.
Lessons I have Learned About Myself While Under Duress:
My first reaction to any news that I don't particularly like is to throw a mini temper tantrum. These tantrums are usually directed at the people I love the most, including God. I don't scream or throw things, but plead, reason, and whimper until I have said all I can say about the why NOTs the SHOULDN'Ts the we CANT's. And's done. And for a while I'm just quiet in the depths of my soul. Empty. Broken. And in that place of quiet brokenness I make a choice. A choice to accept the inevitable. To embrace what WILL be and not to fight. I submit myself to what is yet to come. And that's when something magic happens.

In the place in my heart where there was despair, something begins to creep in, slowly at first and then like a flood. Like turning on a light in a dark room. It is a heady little thing, a veritable Fizzy Lifting Drink for the soul. Hope. Do not underestimate the power of hope. Once I let go of my own personal desires, and gave in to the inevitable a world of exciting adventures and possibilities opened up and actually became glad at the prospect.

I've said it before but it bears repeating so I'll say it again: Every thing I've overcome in my life has in some way prepared me for something yet to come. If life has prepared anyone for this kind of life of frequent transitions, it's me. I'm the girl who changed schools every couple of years. The girl who knows what it feels like to stand in the lunchroom full of strange faces, holding your tray, wondering where and with whom to sit. The girl that never knew what it was like to say: this is ____, we grew up together. The girl who got really good at saying goodbye...without shedding a tear.

So, in a way, I have been the guide for this family in acclimating to new environments. I am usually the first to smile, to say hello to a stranger I think looks like a good potential friend. Which is sometimes a weird and awkward feeling, like I'm five all over again. Hi, I'm Jill. Do you want to be my friend? You can come over to my house and play with my toys! Except offers of playing with toys have turned into play dates for my children and coffee for me. There is something very vulnerable feeling about it, slightly uncomfortable. And yet, it's the stepping out of my comfort zone that has proven to be so rewarding. Granted, my comfort zone is MUCH larger than most peoples, but still.

Ironically, after all of this life experience, it was my husband who was more excited about this move. He had to win me over (after my tantrum of course). But win me over he did. And once I gave in and submitted to the inevitable, the hand of Divine Providence on our lives, I felt the same excitement that he did. And so that is where we are now. Waiting for the next chapter to begin in this grand adventure of our lives. But until then, until the day we step foot onto the plane and for the first time in any of our lives leave the United States, the only home I've ever known, I will cherish every moment here. The moments with the people I love, the way the air smells, the softness of the grass, and all the birds I have come to feed and know on a daily basis. To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson: It has been my experience that you don't truly know how much you will miss a place until you have left it. That is so true, but my experience in leaving, packing up and saying goodbye has taught me to treasure the things that make a place unique. To store them in my heart, because no matter how ready we are to ever leave a place, we WILL always miss it when we have gone.

And so the adventure begins. Wish me luck.

*Technically, Guam is still US Territory, but you get the idea.