I raced home quickly today to write this down. Usually my runs turn into walks by the end but today I felt like I had uncorked something and the sentences wouldn’t stop flowing. By the time I reached my computer though, a slamming door waking the baby and my worn-out mind threatened my writing aspirations and as per usual, the ‘genius’ I felt running to my mix of Rihanna and Coldplay fell flat. Since returning to the United States I’ve been trying to relax and enjoy myself. My husband says I deserve it. Thankfully distraction isn’t hard to come by here and I can easily preoccupy myself with losing the last ten (okay, 15) pounds rather than think about the Big questions that lie in front of me. But as my first six weeks here come to a close I’m feeling those questions creep in and the novelty of the new (old?) wear off. Lately I’ve been waking up at night to them when there’s not even a crying baby to distract me and I feel the absence of my husband most acutely. It’s difficult being so far from him even when I know it’s only temporary. I guess I haven’t shared here because I feel like this space isn’t big enough to hold all my thoughts and I don’t know where to start because I don’t know where we’re headed. I might need to start something bigger to contain it all, a book maybe.
Last night I got angry at the United States. As pointless as that emotion was, I couldn’t hold back my frustration when news broke during our watching ‘The Voice’ that we had begun bombing in Syria. I found myself thinking how unfair it was that while we were sitting in comfortable chairs, critiquing Gwen Stefani’s wardrobe choices (are silk harem pants in?) mamas and families in another part of the world were worrying about their children’s safety. And I wondered if I felt lucky to be in the United States or just guilty.
It’s funny what we become accustomed to; even the hot showers I couldn’t wait for have become the norm again. In Chile I had to shower quickly, the water was never warm enough in the little tub with no overhead shower nozzle. But back here, the first shower was divine, the most luxurious thing I had done in years. I think I lingered in there for about 30 minutes, remembering how much I had longed for the small pleasure of it during my pregnancy and after, when I just wanted a sweet minute to myself. Now I hop in and out like there was never any other way. This scares me. The hot shower I’m no longer grateful for.
Even though I struggle with knowing if coming back here was the right thing to do, the comfort and ease and all the help has been wonderful. Reconnecting with family and friends who share the love for our daughter has been wonderful too. Also, American grocery stores.
I hope this is the beginning of something good; that this move will help me gain the perspective I need to move forward in a way that suits my family and addresses all of our needs. I feel incredibly lucky that I have a landing spot here in Pennsylvania when I need one and all the support in the world from the people in our lives. I hope to begin writing here more often and if not here, then I hope to get started on a bigger project. Maybe that’s an unrealistic goal with a five month old but I’m going to try.
As always, thanks for reading.