I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how settled we feel here. After moving 9 times in the last 5 years; after three countries, three states, one whirlwind courtship, a Foreign Service job offer, a speedy engagement, a marriage, China, a baby, America, India, it’s hard to imagine life without adjusting to at least one life-changing event or international move every 3 months.
And yet, here we are. The dust has settled and–almost without realizing it–I’ve traveled so far from where I was 5 years ago. I’m no longer a recent college grad. I’ve now lived overseas for longer than I ever lived in D.C. I’m not a newlywed anymore, or even a brand new mother. For the first time in my life, I no longer feel defined by any recent life-changing event.
I certainly don’t feel like a grown up and I anticipate many more years of growth and change and international relocations ahead of us, but at the same time I can’t help but think there can only be one first born, one first overseas assignment. There could only ever be one man who could ask me to marry him while waiting for a takeout pizza who I could have ever said yes to.
Maybe this is what it means to reach adulthood–to realize that, no matter what comes next, the most formative events of our lives may no longer be ahead of us, but behind us instead-whatever those events may be for different people.
10 years ago, I would have found the above idea depressing. Today though it feels exhilarating, liberating even. For five years I’ve been a happy pinball, in a state of constant reaction to the new and changing contours of my life. It was fun and exciting, but it’s also hard to really savor the moment or act with deliberate intention when one is constantly ricocheting from one life-altering event to the next.
So, it’s nice, for at least a few months, to just…be. To be a mom to our son, to hang out with my husband, to plot my next moves and push myself a little creatively and intellectually.
Which is all, perhaps, a very, very long way to go to say that I really like knowing we have one more year here. That, as much as I’m looking forward to bidding and moving some place new and exciting next year, as much as I’m looking forward to growing our family at some point, it also feels really good to know that we won’t be doing either for the first time ever again.
And, on an only very tangentially related note, it doesn’t matter too much that Will didn’t get into Holi this year. With a little luck, we can always try again next year.
Easter eggs, on the other hand. Will really gets into those.