My Total Truths is a series based on a list of things that I know to be true and have served me as mini-life lessons.
# 4 – Decisions can be hard, but they are necessary.
My family back for New Jersey after 5 weeks in Santo Domingo almost a week ago and the mere thought of it breaks me down to a Hurricane Irene level cry-storm. I was lucky enough to have my mom with me for so long (2 weeks where I was still pregnant and 3 weeks after my daughter was born) so I shouldn’t be complaining. Most people don’t have this kind of help in the beginning, much less ever. Add on the move to a different country and I am eternally grateful – to God, to the universe, to a greater being – that my mom (and abuelita) was able to be with me during the birth of my first child.
I knew I’d miss them in their absence. What I didn’t take into account was how much. We weren’t sure how so much time in such small quarters with 4 generations of Cuban women would be. Under normal circumstances it could have been a small tropical storm and adding a baby could have increased winds for sure. But after the storm, I was surprised that the only damage done was to my heart. I missed them. I miss them. A lot. Husband misses them too. We all miss them. Our house seems small and lonely without them like too much quiet after a rainstorm.
In the time between the engagement party, wedding planning, pregnancy, move from Westfield, actual wedding, moving to Santo Domingo plans, actual move, and planning of baby – there wasn’t much thinking time. I was running on GO for months. I knew what I was leaving behind but didn’t have the time, or really the understanding, to know what it would actually feel like. I understood that the decision to move was not a simple one. I was choosing to fulfill a part of me that was always in the waiting. I was choosing to travel and write and search for my biggest dreams but as Paulo Coelho writes in The Alchemist, “Making a decision was only the beginning of things.” We often think making a decision is the hardest part but its the aftermath that you should worry about.
In choosing these things, another part of me has to give.
When my mom was here, one of the last days, we were talking about how I used to go to sleepovers only to call her in the middle of the night asking her to pick me up. I’d already be waiting at the door when she arrived and I’d come running out with my pillow firmly tucked under my arm. She said it looked “como el diablo te seguía (like the devil was chasing me).” My strength and independence betray me; I am someone who misses home and the security of my family quite easily. My mom has never tried to get me stay but has always let me know that I could come home no matter what.
With a new baby, most would say that I have to grow up and take care of my family now. The conflicting side of this is that I have never thought about my parents, grandparents, and sister as an extension of family but just simply as part of the whole. They are a part of me as plainly as Husband and Rafaella and the dogs are. The tug between my family there and my family here becomes the hardest part of making the decision I know I have to make in order to live out this part of my life.
With that being said, I have to take full advantage of the magical journey that is in front of me. I am getting to live out a dream with the love of my life which is more than many could say. And I guess, one of the beauties of life and decisions, is that you could always make a new one.