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The movers came today to pick up our boxes for our sea shipment to Australia and I can’t help the panic and doubts that creep into my mind. We have spent the last week sorting through our stuff into various piles: going to Australia, “memories”/staying in Canada, garage sale, garbage, and India trip. Transitions are tiring and emotionally draining and while we are trying to savor our last few weeks in Canada, it isn’t fun living in limbo.
This move to Australia wasn’t a hard decision for us. An opportunity presented itself and we jumped right in and committed. We were committed, but we weren’t sure for months if the project was going to move forward, which was hard. Now that it is real and we just sent our boxes away, I can’t help the doubt that creeps in. I look around our beautiful house and wonder why are we leaving? I think about all our friends and family and support network that we are leaving behind. I think of all the routines and rituals we have here and how great our life is. We have always said that when we take on these new adventures, it is not because we are running away from anything. We absolutely love our life here and have worked hard to set it up the way we want it. I remember when we moved into this house, I envisioned this being our “forever” house where we would raise our kids. I moved around quite a bit as a child and wanted my kids to have the stability of one house their whole childhoods, where their high school friends were their kindergarten classmates. I wanted them to live in the same city as their grandparents and cousins. I wanted us both to have stimulating jobs locally, where we didn’t have to commute. We spent a lot of time looking for that forever house and setting up that life. But yet about two years after moving into that house, we were off to Malaysia. What has followed is a bopping back and forth between our normal/stable life here in Canada and various adventures. Our kids have definitely not had that stability that I envisioned for them. And while I know these adventures are amazing for our kids and for our family, I can’t help but feeling a little lost about why we are doing this. Why we are throwing our lives in dishevel when we have worked so hard to building this life?
I know the answer – it is a wanderlust that lies within us, that we can’t control. Sometimes people make comments about how brave we are, to do all this moving around and traveling. But inside I sometimes feel like it is pure selfishness to force my/our dreams onto our kids/family. What is best for our kids? Maybe there really isn’t one best answer. And yet I feel like I am profoundly impacting my kids by these decisions, for better or worse. Ours kids are moderately on board for this move and that is probably all that I can really expect because they are kids and change is hard. I remember when I was in grade 11, we left to go sailing again and I am sure at the time I was not 100% on board with that decision. What teenager wants to leave their friends and school? As an adult, I look back on those sailing years as ones that defined and shaped who I am today and had a huge impact on my world views and priorities.
So while I know this adventure is good for our family and good for our kids, I can’t help but have doubts sometimes. Already as I write this, those doubts are fading and I am reminded of why we are doing this. I want to show my kids the world and show them other ways of living and by exposing them to change, I am building their resilience. I just need to keep repeating that the next few weeks. My new mantra – “show them the world and build resilience”.