This morning, just like every other morning, I opened the kitchen cabinet and reached for a small, red box of tea.
It wasn't there.
It wasn't there because we're moving back to the US with 8 days notice. (Yay, bring on our new home in California! Seriously, I welcome the crazed timeline.) And although I may be a procrastinator in almost every aspect of life, I am a fantastic mover who has already emptied the cabinets and placed everything in sorted, labeled boxes.
But something struck me in that tea-less moment. Our life has felt anything but normal, and yet this year of homesickness and occasional adventure has still managed to breed routine. Certain things go in certain places, the days flow in such a way, and the tea is always right above the stove.
Leaving is everything I've wanted for months, but it feels strange to leave behind our new normal. Gabe and I didn't live together before we were married; our entire relationship was long distance. This was our first home together--the only "normal" we've ever known. And so, our move feels a little more bittersweet than expected!
I will not miss:
...the way our kitchen floor floods every time I wash dishes.
...the tiny washing machine that always makes my clothes smell funny.
...the dryer that shrinks everything it touches.
...Skyping in for birthday parties.
...drawing snowflakes on my windows and pretending it feels like Christmas.
...paying a cab every time I want to go somewhere.
...130 degree days.
...a life without wine.
...constantly fearing I'm showing the tiniest bit of boob. Or shoulder. Or knee. Or the bottoms of my feet.
I will miss...
...sunrises over the Gulf right out my window. Our beach view is insane.
...my neighbor friend who has been a source of sanity, even if we don't see each other for a few weeks.
...our checkerboard floors, which I used to loathe but now love.
...the passing feeling that we're on an adventure.
...random camel sightings and calls to prayer.
...funny stories or weird experience from simply stepping outside our door.
...interacting with people who are so different than me.
...my side trips to Europe in an effort to stay sane.
Mostly, I'll miss the way this experience has brought lots of introspection. I've learned so much about myself, my husband and my marriage. We've never fought more than we did the first 3 months in Kuwait. It was ugly, but given the circumstances + our newlywed status...it was probably quite normal. But, that has passed. We've never been more in sync than we have in the last 5 months. It's as if life plodded forward enough for us to be retrospective...to appreciate how much we both gave one another this year: I loved him enough to leave behind a comfy life at home for his job in Kuwait...and he loved me through my lowest, most depressed days when I felt particularly unlovable. And we both fell in love with a little helpless kitten who has turned our world upside down more than a few times.
Not to be a cheeseball, but in hindsight...it has been quite deep and beautiful for two people who didn't expect to find deepness or beauty in the desert.
My only true sadness in leaving is breaking this awesome marital period. While I haven't been creatively or intellectually fulfilled in Kuwait, I've felt so safe and loved. It's like one glass was empty, the other full...and it forced me to learn a few lessons. I've discovered that my husband loves me even without my usual Pollyanna personality, and with a larger pants size. And, I've learned that life still goes on even if your apartment doesn't look like a Pinterest board. If there were any lessons I desperately needed to learn in life...discovering I am loved + worthy of love and learning to let go of perfection were at the top.
So for that...for this year of learning...I am so grateful.
For the ability to move forward, into a new normal...my heart is overwhelmed.
I cannot wait. Home, home, home. Here we come.