Day 9: How you hope your future will look...

When I look ahead, I see…everything and nothing. There is so much I’m on the cusp of achieving, and yet, nothing actually achieved yet. My life, despite so much purpose and so many hopes sprouting from the darkness, is still a wide open space; a tornado of uncertainty and opportunity that hasn’t quite touched down. 

I’ll let ya’ll in on a bit of a “secret,” I am contemplating moving back to New Jersey this summer. It’s a potential move that’s been on my mind a few months, now; but probably not (totally) for the reasons some might assume. Of course, living closer to family would make life easier. No one ever questioned that (not even me). While that is absolutely a piece of the pie, it’s not the whole thing. 

Where I live now is incredible. It’s beautiful, and mild, and there are things about this place I know I’ll never find anywhere else. Every time my kids and I take a stroll through this (truly gorgeous) neighborhood, we run into friends and familiar faces. We feel safe, we feel welcome, and we love it here so much that the thought of not living here in six months makes us all a bit heartbroken. Being here has been the safety net we needed after we lost Kenny. It’s given us space to grieve, and to heal, and to grow in this beautiful little bubble of ours. The thing about bubbles is that, at some point, you can’t grow anymore inside of them. 

I’ve made no bones about my desire to start a career, to build a life. It’s the second most important thing to me; the first being that my kids are living their best lives. Both of these things are evolving far beyond the scope of my expectations two years ago. Two years ago they were younger, their needs smaller. The things that they want to do, and to try, the extracurriculars and the day trips, and the time they want to spend outside of the home. While it’s all reasonable, and all things I want them to do, there are three of them, and one of me. While I have come to accept, and be totally okay with, the fact that I don’t have a ton of time for myself, I refuse to let my “one person-ness” become a limitation for them, when I know that there are other options. 

When Kenny’s parents were here last month (they rented a condo nearby), I got a glimpse into how life would be with family nearby. Of course, it was heavenly to see my kids get to do fun things with their grandparents, and to have the mental “break” of knowing I had backup nearby if needed, the truth is that I also got a lot of “me” time that has been in desperately short supply the last few years. I don’t just mean time out with friends (which was awesome, by the way), but I also spent plenty of time at home, alone. I exercised, I slept, I got work done. I cleaned, I organized, I was able to hear myself think for more than an hour at a click. 

That’s when, despite the stake to my heart, that I realized…I could be around for my kids. I could be the one who gets them on and off the bus, who makes them dinner, who attends their school events; and I could also build a really meaningful career, and spend lots of time with friends, or alone, or with family. I can I just can’t have it all here. No matter how much I love it, how beautiful, how healing…we’ve hit the roof of our bubble, and it seems it’s time to pop it. Time to return to our “real world,” hopefully taking with us all the strength we’ve gathered the past two years with us. Where we can have it all, with all the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins a stone’s throw away.

So, quite literally, this minute, our future is wide open. A white screen of hope ahead of us. I know nothing of how it will look. I don’t know where we’ll live, or what we’ll do, but I’m feeling sanguine that we’re ready, that it will be lovely, and wonderful (if not a bit colder come January).; but, as another fearless female forging her future once said, the cold never bothered me, anyway ;)