|Scene from our move to Germany in 2011...|
Yesterday morning, D and I had our first of 2 moving inspections. Someone from the moving company contracted to handle our move comes to the house and estimates how much crap we've got (hint: A LOT) and they plan the amount of boxes and crates and manpower they'll need to pack us up and get us out. A very simple process…we've done it many, many times before. Happy to have D home to help me deal with it this time (I typically have to handle these inspections on my own), we woke up at 6:30am…preparing for the guy to be at our place anytime between 8am and 10am. We sipped coffee, got ready, and shuffled a few of my organizational piles around to make a path for easy inspecting. We even made the bed, to keep up civilized appearances, of course. Naturally, the inspector didn't arrive until 9:55am (the frustrating timing that all people in the service industry seem to operate on)…but that's neither here nor there. He had us walk him through our cluttered war-zone of an apartment, showing him what was going, what was staying, and what things we wanted extra care and protection for (the alcohol, TV, and wine barrel, duh). He spouted off instructions for the days the movers are here…all familiar and stuff we have prepared for. As he left our apartment, we let out a sigh of relief. One more check mark off the moving "to-do" list. One less thing to worry about.
Normally during this part of the process, I start to get sad and mopey. The whole moving thing gets REAL. As if the junk piles weren't already real enough, the weight of the process becomes heavy and tangible the second strangers start entering your home with tape measurers. You see the boxes, you hear the packing tape screech across the cardboard (like nails scratching a chalkboard, that stuff), you watch your personal belongings go into wooden crates that you won't see for 60 days (or more) and you essentially become homeless. Most of the time it feels depressing to me. Stressful and depressing. During our move to Germany, I was sad to leave my family and terrified of moving to a foreign country. Although, if you ask my family and friends, they'd say they couldn't tell it. I put on my best brave and happy face and trucked through that move like I wasn't about to poop my pants. Those feelings are a far cry from the feelings I felt yesterday morning.
It's so friggin' crazy…but now I find myself feeling happy about leaving Germany. Real happy. Watching the inspector measure our couch and inventory our beer glass collection didn't drum up those melancholy feelings I'm used to. Truth is, I'm ready to get the heck out of here. Are you guys just as surprised to hear that as I am?? The human psyche is a complex thing. 4 months ago I was waxing poetic about how devastated I was at the thought of leaving Germany and how they'd have to drag me kicking and screaming through customs that final day. I wholeheartedly expected to be crying every time someone mentioned moving, but these days, even in the thick of this process, I'm screaming inside my head--"GET ME TO FLORIDA, NOW!!" I can't quite put my finger on when this change of heart happened (because I think it's been a gradual thing), but it's definitely weird. I went from mourning the loss of travel and our unique experience abroad, straight to how-quickly-can-we-make-this-move-happen-because-I'm-done kind of feelings. It's like a switch flipped in my brain and I've somehow shut off the panic I felt. Today, I'm so dang happy to be leaving Germany. I feel slimy admitting that. But it's true.
I've noticed a big change in how I view and even live our life abroad over the last couple of months. I've become exhausted of constant travel (I can tell by the way we don't really plan out our day trips anymore)--like my body and mind have taken solace in the fact that we won't be stressing over travel plans or hopping planes so often anymore. I can see our bank accounts expanding...and our other hopes and dreams seem a little more in reach without so much focus on travel. In another way, I'm SO DONE with how inconvenient living here can be. I'm very much over street parking, frustrated with the language barrier (even though I wasn't before), and all around just peeved-off with the lack of instant gratification here. It's almost as if the American in me is slowly seeping out again, no matter how hard I try to keep my European mindset. These feelings remind me of that episode of How I Met Your Mother--the one where the gang didn't want to tell Ted how awful and annoying his girlfriend was for fear of shattering the rose-colored glasses he was viewing her through? Once that glass broke, Ted could see everything wrong about her. I think that's what happened to me. Florida shattered my rose-colored glasses for Germany. Everything I used to think was unique and special about this place is slowly changing into little annoyances. I'm yearning for the familiar. It's almost more than I can stand some days. Not to mention, I'm beyond ready to be in the same time zone as my family again. I'm thrilled at the thought of being included in birthdays and parties and silly things like game nights again. While we've had some amazing experiences of our own, we've gone through most of them alone. And we've missed out on some really sweet things in the lives of our loved ones along the way. A 2-hour flight is way more doable than a 9-hour one, if you didn't know.
I know I'm still going to miss Europe and Germany terribly (and I hold some incredibly fond and beautiful memories from our time and travels abroad), but I'm more excited for this new chapter to start. I don't remember ever feeling such a drastic swap of emotions in any other moving process we've gone through. I've done a total 180° in a short amount of time. It scares me to be so OK with leaving Germany after being so NOT OK with this move not so long ago. Granted, there are a few things that have happened since we found out our new assignment that have made letting go of Germany quite a bit easier (things I SO want to tell you now, but will have to save for later), but I still never expected to be wishing our time away here. I hope I'm not just subconsciously stuffing emotions down that will eventually creep back up and smack me in the face later. Guess only time will tell for that one. This thing still feels very bittersweet, but also very done. Complete. An expiration well-placed.
So, that's where my head is at right now. Completely opposite of this post just a few short months ago. Maybe I'm experiencing a weird new coping mechanism…or maybe this is how I know I'm ready for our time to be up here. Peace that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7) is the song of my life at the moment. While my body is going through all the moving motions here in Germany, my heart is in now in the Sunshine State.☀