It's been one week since we left our Barriefield house. Even though I had been anticipating for quite some time how it would feel to make this step into the unknown I was still rocked by my own emotions. I went into pretty full blown freak out mode (which maybe doesn't look like much on the outside) and just wanted to turtle for awhile. I didn't hide though, I have these three bright beings who need a momma so instead of wallowing in my borrowed bed, I made heaps of plans with friends to keep us constantly busy.
I knew within four days of this that I was setting myself up for failure. I pretended I was keeping us busy with friends and fun times to ease the transition but I knew that I was just in avoidance. I didn't want to feel the crash of this odd move we just made, I didn't want it to be real. I wanted to keep sort of floating along for a few weeks until magically we found ourselves in our forever home - the elusive Holy Grail we seem hellbent on finding.
I'm in contrast to myself pretty much all the time, are we all like this? I love adventure, exploration, and always want to be seeking sunnier shores. I am also a mega homebody, I crave routine, known outcomes and the solace of a beautiful home of my making. Reconciling these parts of me feels like a lifelong journey and is always made more intense by the fact that three little daughters are always in tow.
If it were just Steve and I, we probably would just keep adventuring and travelling and seeking, living part time out west (a dream location for me) and part time out in the big wide world. We'd balance it out with a cottage here in the Kingston area. Somehow having kids makes this feel unrealistic, but I know that's just a chosen limitation.
Regardless, what I believe I'm seeking is the feelings of security, dependability, certainty. And though those feels are accessible to me in many forms at any time, it really is this home that I desire to create.
A place where we can paint the walls the colour of our choosing, we can design the craft and learning space. Hang herbs to dry in the pantry, make a coffee station complete with mug wall. We can plan out a garden knowing that it will take shape over the years. We can swim in the river, skate on the pond, welcome and love animals, visit their burial sites long after they're gone. Sit in the shade of the oak tree, set up a nature table with seasonal finds, hang our coats on their designated hooks, know where the Christmas decorations are stored. We can host our friends, try out my porch side café I've always dreamed of, have lemonade stands and sell eggs at the road.
It's a truly idyllic vision (it's me, hi) and it both buoys me and capsizes me. I believe wholeheartedly in creating this simple life but find myself unable to. Is it just timing? Is it not ready yet? What other lessons am I learning?
So in absence of my dream land and homestead coming to fruition we have moved from our cozy and complete Barriefield home into...the unknown.
I underestimated how taxing it would be to do this again, we're seasoned at this unravelling and yet it takes its toll. Which is why I busied us with dates with friends so we wouldn't have to just find ourselves sitting in the emptiness of not knowing what to do next. But actually just letting everyone have their feelings and working our way through it was less scary than I thought.
We chose this. We chose uncertainty over what we could have controlled. We could have rented one of the zillion suburban houses in this area. We could have acquired the furniture that was within our means. We could have both, Steve and I, gotten conventional jobs. We could have chosen a version of security. Maybe we still will.
It felt like the only choice was the leap into nothing and when several friends made grand gestures of sharing their homes for the summer without even batting an eye, we chose that option.
We know it will be reciprocal, we'll help out where we can, make repairs, make treats, be communal in ways I think we all biologically crave but don't know how to do (it's very uncomfortable but possible).
It's felt like free fall for a long time but again it's the choice we've made. We all get to choose which level of discomfort we'll live with and, for now, this is ours. To live in borrowed beds, to ferry our food back and forth from a fridge outside, to have our clothes in suitcases. There's both freedom and isolation in all of this. But I think that's true for all choices in life.
By the grace of friends that we'll spend time with this summer we've bought ourselves just a bit more time. Time to better understand what we want, time to go all in in one direction. Sometimes it feels like the more uncomfortable you are the easier it is to make things happen, you can't be complacent when you're so far outside your element.
This past week, as I said, was tougher than I first thought. But I spoke with friends who love and get me, I told the truth which was that I feel out of control, and I let myself just feel all of the misery, regret, fear, doubt and sadness. The intense heat wave adding insult to injury, I just went ahead and wallowed.
It's only when I measure myself against societal norms that I feel despair -- I know we do life differently and the desire to be "normal" can sometimes be intoxicating. But when I acknowledge and embrace the choices I've made as my own, I can surrender to life a bit more. And when I surrender to life a bit more I can continue being surprised by how well it actually always works out.
This summer is going to be magical. It will be full of contraction -- a homebody not at home is bound to feel that way. And it will be full of expansion -- we're getting to see so many wonderful friends this summer and be immersed in sun, sand, water, fun. There will be late nights and marshmallow-sticky fingers, early mornings and boredom, crabby moments and tears, rich laughter and connection, and absolutely delicious and nurturing food.
The integration aspect will be letting all things be what they are without trying to make them something else. And to love ourselves and each other through it anyway.
I think we're all on our own journeys of understanding ourselves, our place within this world, the reasoning we came here at this time. Some are awake to that journey and some aren't, but we're still walking it out all the same. I share my experience with it though it probably looks different than yours because connection and authenticity are two of my gifts, I'll pour my heart out all day to you (preferably through writing, just saying). Our collective human presence allows for us to witness each others lives, it's what makes life worth living.
Here's my story, unfolding day by day, it's as much as mystery to me as anyone else. I'm honoured that you read it. Today there was a coolness in the breeze that felt like actual life itself to me, anything and everything can really change that quick. I'm just going to remind us to move slowly and with curiosity as we navigate what a life on purpose truly is about.