Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Two Weeks Notice.

Hey there! Long time no see. Sorry I haven’t been posting very frequently. Which excuse do you want? 3 month old baby or international move preparation? I’ve actually started a few posts in the past week but when I was editing them they just read so negatively that I opted not to publish them. Jonathan called me out on what a complainer I’ve become recently, and I’m feeling pretty convicted. And yet….I just can’t stop doing it. 

Every morning I say to myself, ‘Alright Laine, no complaining today.’ I can maybe make it 2 or 3 hours before the griping begins. In my defense, they say having a baby and moving are two of the most stressful things you’ll ever do. An international move with a new baby just adds an entirely different element to the stress factor.  
Baby boy watching me sort through all of our possessions.
So for now, my thoughts are kind of skewing negatively. I’m kind of overwhelmed. Kind of sad. Kind of ambivalent. Kind of not looking forward to jet-lagging babies and temporary housing and living without the bulk of our possessions for at least 6 weeks. But like it or not, in 2 weeks, we are getting on a plane with as many things as we can carry and moving to California. 

TWO WEEKS! I’ve never been so excited and heartbroken and terrified all at the same time. I got a tad emotional on Forest’s and my stroll yesterday as I thought ‘I only have 2 Tuesdays left’. I feel like every day I'm starting the process of saying my goodbyes. Who knows how many walks in Hazlehead Park that I have left? 
How many more times I will see the profile of Clachnaben on a clear winter day? 
It seems very quantifiable at this point, if that makes any sense. One more mahjong Friday. One more AWA meeting. How many more times will I see each of my friends? How many months/years after the move until I see them again? 

But then at the same time I think: Geeze I can’t wait to get to a place where I don’t have to pay for parking everywhere I go. Where I can take a sunny day for granted.  Where I can one-stop-shop at Target for all of my grocery/fashion/homegoods/childcare/pet/entertainment needs. 

It’s a balancing act, and I feel like part of my defense mechanism any time we move is to focus on the negative aspects of what I’m leaving behind and idealizing what I’m moving towards. But the thing is, we’ve played this game enough to know how hard it is to leave a place behind, especially one you really have no reason to return to. 

It’s not like we’re leaving our hometown and plan to visit for holidays. We are leaving Aberdeen in a very finite way. Not to say that we’ll never be back to visit or even to live one day, but there is such a transient community here that I’d doubt we’d recognize many faces if we did. Sort of like when you return to your old college campus after years away and realize you don’t know any of the students. Realize that your time has passed and life has marched on without you.   

We lived in Midland for 2.5 years, but once we packed up our house and drove away, we’ve never returned. I still have people living there that I consider dear friends, but when I’ll see them again, only time will tell. 
That’s a sad fact, but it’s true. Because of the nature of Jonathan’s work, it’s likely we’ll intersect with many of our Aberdonian friends back in Houston one day, and I look forward to that reunion. When you’re an expat, your friends quickly become family, and it hurts my heart so much to think of leaving them behind. 

But that’s how the story goes and I am excited to think about all the new friends I will meet in this new place and time. And it’s exciting to address Christmas cards to friends spread out all over the world and know that no matter what continent we visit, I don’t have to stretch too far to find a couch to crash on  (figuratively speaking. My couch crashing days are WAY over). 
Another one bites the dust.
It’s a great big world, but it seems significantly smaller after this experience. Each time we move we get a little stronger, a little braver, and a lot smarter. We re-establish the most important things in life which is mainly just getting through it together, leaning on God for strength and peace, and keeping in touch with those we left behind. 
Sorry if this post skewed a little negatively. I hope you can understand why.


  1. You have said it well and it is hard to describe . Leaving is part of expat life. What a special place Scotland is.

  2. Hang in there! Try to focus on the positives and everything will hopefully fall into place. California will be worth it!!

  3. I know exactly how you are feeling, having just done this exact thing 2 weeks ago to the day!!! Hang in there and know that all of us love you and will see you again.. beside I now have another reason to go back to CA for a visit!! But I am also counting down the days till my sea shipment arrives (3 weeks;)).

  4. Pitty party....once you leave, of us 5 (Me, You, Nary, Tanvi and Deb) you all will have left ME!!! Big sad face :(

  5. It is hard! Enjoy your last two weeks as much as you can and when you're sad focus on all the things you're looking forward to. Saying a prayer for you now

  6. Well said. It's so hard to put into words all the emotions surrounding relocation. There are two big sides to this cookie we call our life. Love you and excited to be back in the same state! Proof of how we all come in and out of each other's lives in this "family" :)