On days like today I have time to realize (or rather, run out of time to avoid) how much really has changed for me in the last year and a half or so. It’s like remembering that no one is holding on to your bike as you peddle like mad down the street. Usually on New Year’s Eve (before everyone goes to their separate festivities) I am painting on a very, very large 428 pound vinyl canvas with a group of really talented student artists to loud music and wishing at the end of the evening for warm water to wash out rollers as my hands go numb. For the last handful of years we’ve attended the Tune NYE bash–-it’s never sounded so good as it does to me now. My New Year’s Day is usually spent powdering that sticky canvas and folding it up with that same group of really talented student artists.
Looking back on the transitions I made to find the right day job, I feel sure that I was protected and propelled forward by mysterious forces. Remembering the former comfort and constancy of my extra curricular programming schedule opens up a wound I can’t seem to let heal just yet, even though I made the choice to move away from it. This reflection inspired a brief moment of desire, for the first time since we arrived back in Nashville, to go home-home to London. The acknowledgement is stinging, but it is even more painful to say.
The longing to go home wasn’t at all related to wanting to leave anyone we’ve come to see. It’s really more like I’m an addict wishing to be far away from temptations narrowly escaped. I still don’t know what my time with my students meant if it was always meant to end or why I found a dream job prior to Drew’s job offer in London, but the longer I am here I feel like pieces of my heart get achy in proximity to the people and things I bravely left behind. Leaving them a second time is going to be as difficult as I expected. Gotta get a job–something new to focus on, with new challenges.
I certainly will not be able to see every single person I’ve been missing before I am back on a plane to London, but I am thankful that my New Year’s Eve plans include a wedding, a beautiful baby, and Apples to Apples. These familiar comforts are more than I could have asked for and everything I needed to get me ready to face the next string of challenges. Thank you for your love.