firstschoolwalk

“You don’t live at the ocean and not go to the beach everyday. What’s the point?”

This is what I told my mother this morning on the telephone. She agreed. For some reason she just figured you go once or twice and that is that, you simply continue on with your usual daily existence. But then, she doesn’t live near the ocean. She has never lived near the ocean. She has visited a handful of times, but then retreated back to her house inland, far away from a coast. You visit, you walk the beach, you get your fill and then you go home. That is her experience, and that is what makes the most sense. And I would have to confess that is probably what I thought too. Even when I went to college in Rhode Island, I didn’t go to the ocean everyday. Just wasn’t that big of a deal to me… well, at least, who I was at the time.

Not anymore.

Today marks the first full week of us living in California. Hard to even see those words materialize on my screen and believe that I’m actually the one typing them. There were so many moments in the last few months where pushing myself to put one foot after another, hell even breathing, was difficult to manage let alone comprehend, but here we are. We did it. We dared to realize a dream, and then we did the unthinkable… we made it happen. Despite the fear and anxiety of putting such a grand scheme into action, the world continues to spin on and no one has died. And every day not only do I get to wake up and smell salt air, I remember, “I did it.”

I would be lying to us all if I told you that I’m worry free. I would be lying if I told you that there aren’t moments where I’m gripped by paralyzing fear, where in a flash I think of a moment in my life back home that I’ve said goodbye to and realize that I will never see again. The wind gets sucked out of me as if I’ve been punched in my gut. Tears sneak their way into my throat and my head goes soft. I almost lose it.

But then I catch myself and breathe. Change cannot come without desire, without need, without a surrender or sacrifice of some kind. I wanted this, I needed this and all I have to do is live in the moment, not the past. I could no way hold onto those moments anymore than I could script the ones I have right now. So best enjoy what is passing before my eyes now or else time will flash past once more and I will be welling up all sad about this very moment and how it too has passed.

I also have moments where the What Ifs seep into the cracks of my happiness. What if the kids hate it here? What if the work dries up? What if I’ve fooled myself into thinking this is what I wanted all along? Again, the What Ifs are me projecting my worry into the future. Do my kids hate it right this minute? No. They love it more than I could have imagined. Is my husband still working? Yes, in fact he is the happiest I’ve seen him in years. Is this still what I want? Hmmm… let me think… kids happy? Check. Husband happy? Check. Me? Check. Ok, this moment works, let’s just ride this out right here, no past and no future. If I can stay right here, right now, then we’ll be just fine.

Upon arrival, walking through LA International Airport, my 6 year old turned to me and said…

“Mom. You know what? If I look around and say, ‘I live here. I live here.’ I get all scared, so instead I keep telling myself, ‘This is a trip. This is a trip,’ then everything feels like it is ok.”

I’ve taken that and applied it to life in general. This is all just one big trip. And why would I pay so much to be on it to not enjoy it now. Why wouldn’t I go to the beach every day?

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