On one hand, I’ve been excited to leave here since I arrived, just persevering for the most part. But as soon as I’m faced with the opportunity to finally go home, I’ve become accustomed to being here and I… ahem… like it. I didn’t expect to accept my life here as anything other than a temporary hardship for our family until we can get back home and start living the life we’ve been striving for. But something happened in the past few months, and that something is apparently acceptance (the elusive 5th stage, for those who are keeping track, heh). I don’t have that NEED to get away anymore and I think I finally understand how some people come here and stay for years and years. It always used to shock me when I met people who’d been here longer than a year or two, but now I understand how this lifestyle can become commonplace in your mind, and not just weird. And you can get to a point where you like it.
So now, it basically sucks. Because instead of rushing away from here without looking back, before I’ve even left I’m already regretting leaving the things I will miss. People aside, (which is going to be the hardest part by far, leaving my friends) I know I’m going to miss the weather, hot as Hell though it may be, I haven’t felt cold in MONTHS other than just turning to the A/C too far down. I’m going to miss the malls and all their excessive splendor and décor. It’s become habit to head to a mall and have dinner somewhere. Going to dinner is a different experience in America. I love that, but this fits, too.
And I think that’s finally the bottom line. With acceptance came a strange sort of longing for my life here. Yes, I can’t wait to get Verizon back and be on the messaging front lines once again (and make up for lost time, hehe. Prepare yourselves!). I can’t wait to drive myself, without the threat of death every time I belt up. I can’t WAIT to be nearer to my family and all my friends that I missed so much. I can find everything I need to cook my favorite dishes at one store, etc.
But each of those things, that used to feel so important, now has a counter to them in this life.
I’m used to Etisalat and their fees and poor customer service. I’ll probably never get another text in Arabic again after I leave here. :) I’ll probably even miss the adrenaline rush that comes with buckling up here, and the excitement of going to Spinneys for the “good stuff” as a treat, not just being able to get it easily from any old store.
I certainly won’t miss washing dishes by hand. I won’t miss my combo washer/dryer that doesn’t actually dry. I won’t miss my life being covered by a haze of sand 24/7. I won’t miss being glared at, or feeling uncomfortable in a tank top or shorts. I definitely won’t miss the excessive prices on everything from food to clothes.
But again, this fits, too. Who knew? :)
The biggest thing is leaving Stu. Looking back over the past two years is a trip. We were completely different people when we got married. I know we loved each other then, but we’ve come full circle as far as maturity goes. We’ve developed from single, selfish-minded people into a unit. We’re always “we” and “us” now and it’s so much better for both of us. And I KNOW that. We’re so much happier than we were when we ever were back home and that has all been because of this experience forcing us to lean on one another exclusively because we didn’t HAVE any other friends or family to turn to. In retrospect, coming here was probably the best thing we could have done for us as a couple and as parents, let alone for our bank account. So leaving, quite literally, my other half, here all alone and going to America all alone with our son is scary for me in ways I’ve never considered before. I’ve never loved this man more than I do today. And it keeps getting better with each week that passes and we make more memories and jokes and fun.
All this time we’ve been planning when “we” were leaving and I always pictured us doing all of this together. But once again, life has its own way of doing things, and I think me being forced to do things on my own without being codependent will make me a stronger person, and Stu relying on himself instead of having everything done for him will help him appreciate the things I do a bit more (not that he doesn’t, but the guy hasn’t had to wash his own drawers for over two years now). So again, this can be such a good thing for our relationship. How many couples have the opportunity to take a step back from their marriages and re-appreciate what they have in each other? (I still think it sucks though and I’m going to whine a bit more about it from time to time)
Here are some pictures of this week. Thank you Marcia, Mo, and Mimi for boxes! It was great to get them all at the same time! Kaden is having a hay day with his new Cars stuff and we’re LOVING our snacks. And Mo, thanks a MILLION for the new crafting projects to keep up busy for the next few weeks! Great idea!
After our Macaroni Grill experience, I invented this mushroom sauce for whole wheat pasta that is seriously sooooo close to the sauce on the ravioli at MG. I'll have that flavor yet! Stu said it made the top 5 of his favorite meals that I make. :)