I’ve been sitting here in my bedroom marking papers, watching a little Netflix, looking at some flights for the summer, thinking about what I need to pack for my trip home, and feeling blue. Do you ever get that way? Just feel blue? Not really depressed, just out of sorts? Honestly, I’ve got no real reason for feeling this way, and that’s making me feel worse.
Life is funny business sometimes. Well, most of the time. We find ourselves tossed around in sea of confusion and hopelessness, and we start to get really seasick. And if you’ve ever experienced seasickness you know that it’s awful and takes a while to get over. So I guess right now I’m in the feeling awful part, and gradually I’ll begin to get over it.
Here are some things I’ve been pondering lately. It’s the end of my 3rd year here in Abu Dhabi. And truth be told, I’ve been happier living here than I’ve been in a long time. So why blue? When Victoria graduated from high school and went to college, I remember so vividly that moment of coming home to an empty house (with a broken leg) and wondering what the hell I was going to do next. My life for 12 years had been all about me and my daughter and all the things, good and bad, we experienced together. Then she left. That’s the thing with kids. They grow up (as they are meant to) and they move on with their own lives. How dare they!! Then what are we parents left with? Empty houses which feel hollow and as if they are swallowing us up. At least that’s how I felt. And I have one child. I always joke with my friends with multiple children because at least when one kid leaves, they’ve got “back ups.” Not me. I just had the one. So there I was. Childless. Feeling sad and lost and little afraid. So I did what any reasonable person would do. I packed up my house, sold my belongings (and my house), threw the rest of my stuff into storage, and got on a plane that took me 8,000 miles across the world to the desert land I actually, now, call home. And the funny thing is I really like living here. Yeah, there are things I don’t like. Of course. But for the most part, I’ve got a pretty good set up here. So why blue?
My daughter is graduating from university in a few days, and I find myself right back in that place I was 4 years ago when she graduated from high school. Don’t get me wrong. I’m really glad she’s graduating from university. SHE’s really glad she’s graduating. I’m so proud of her and what she’s done. And now it’s time for her to move on again…into the “real” world of adulthood and work and all the challenges that come with it. And here I am thinking (again) now what am I going to do? Ha! It seems my life, my happiness is more tied into motherhood than I thought. And why shouldn’t it be? Honestly, being a mom is the single greatest thing I’ve done in my life. What a profound, beautiful responsibility. And I got to do it!! And I’ve got a great kid, too! And she’s going to do so many amazing things in her life. But I wonder about the delicate, little golden thread that connects us–mother and daughter…will it be strong enough to stretch past the miles and obstacles that are sure to come? I hope so. We’ve been able to forge such a powerful bond I think sometimes nothing can break it. But then I remember she’s grown up. She won’t need her mom as much any more, and it’s bittersweet and little heart-breaking. But only a little.
So what’s next? I don’t know. I did decide to stay at least one more year. This will give me time to think about what I want to do next. Where I want to be. Because right now I have no clue. I really thought by this time in my life, I’d have things figured out more, and here I am asking myself: what do I want to be when I grow up? Ha!
What I do know is this: I am where I need to be. I am doing what I need to be doing. And I am needed here. If you saw my recent Facebook post, you saw what my kiddos did for part of their final project, and it was amazing! These girls have changed my life, my thinking, my attitudes in so many ways. Their acceptance of me, a stranger in their land, has been overwhelming. There are no words to describe it. I’m a different person, and maybe that’s part of my feeling blue–I’m no longer sure where I belong. For now, though, I belong here, and that is fine by me.
Change is never easy. It’s hard. But it’s also inevitable. I can’t stay here forever. I don’t want to stay here forever, but I guess I’m just not quite ready to face or plan what’s next. I guess that’s ok. Even if it’s not, still I’m going to give myself permission for it to be ok, and I’m going to pull myself out of this slump and get on with my life!
So friends, if you are feeling blue–for no good reason, or even if you have a good reason, take heart. It’s a season. Seasons change–and with them, so do we. Peace, friends. Till next time,
PS. Next up on the blog: My trip to Morocco!