For any of you that have moved, you know there is the whole rainbow of emotions that comes with relocating and I knew our move to Mexico would include every f*cking color. I anticipated tears and emotional discord as we took down our life in the Dominican Republic and rebuilt it in Mexico. We knew with certainty that we’d be bleeding money these first few months of settling in. I assumed the kids would be shy and unsure of new friendships the first few days of school and that I would feel that anxiety with them. I also believed that once the kids were settled, I would settle too; figured that once we got a routine down, things would be ok. I should have known better.
Of course, remnants of our life would come back and punch me in the heart – sometimes remembering the past hurts. I couldn’t just escape a lifetime lived elsewhere, emotionally unscathed. Who did I think I was? I’m emotional about popsicle flavors and here we’re talking about leaving the kids’ birthplace and where we became a family! Of course there would be feelings. There would be an explosion of them.
But I didn’t think it would come from Timehop. I didn’t think an app that collects old photos and posts could crush my heart and leave me a teary and sloppy huddled mess… but it did. Timehop crushed my soul.
This is the picture that did me in last week. The soul crusher. The heart stomper. It ruptured me like an old pipe in the basement and I cried a teenage-girl-end-of-the-world cry. I didn’t even think I had that much repressed anguish left in me.
But it’s just a picture, isn’t it? You might be asking yourself.
No. It isn’t.
The picture has attached to it a memory and that memory comes attached with a million little sentiments. That weekend at Cadaques with good friends. Another magical sunset following a perfect meal. Our kids staring into an ocean they had started at a thousand times before. Our island life with our island babes. We
are were an island family. The caption alone reminds me how I was feeling when I took the picture and how profoundly I still understand the words I chose to caption it. At that moment, I appreciated how fortunate a life we were living. We don’t aways recognize those moments but I did. In that moment, I did.
Our life in this picture was already changing… and we had no idea. It’s a watercolored reminder that life is changing without even knowing it. It happens – even when you don’t ask it to. And it happens quickly – even when you don’t want it to.
This year we might spend Thanksgiving alone and it may be the first Christmas we don’t head back home. (Hold on. Let me blow my nose and sob at just the mention of not going home for Christmas.) And while I look forward to this new adventure and discovering a new place, part of me wishes I could crawl back into this picture, to a simpler time. A time before we left a place we loved for a new one we might one day love.
I know we can’t go back, but sometimes, don’t you wish you could?
For the last half a decade…
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