I am seriously hoping we are nearly to the end of this whole reentry process. I just want to feel settled.
In many ways, we are now comfortably entrenched into a normal American lifestyle. The boys are doing well in their math and science classes taken through the public schools, they’re loving being a part of Boy Scouts, and they’re finally part of a soccer team. The soccer team was the hardest part of our journey – they missed it tremendously.
Life is comfortable. It’s predictable. Sort of.
In just as many ways as life is comfortable and predictable, it’s not that at all. We are still camped on the floor of our “case de nada” (house of nothing) while we work on remodeling our new home so we can move in. We’ve got mattresses on the floor (at least we’ve got that!), three pots to cook in (better than only one!), and a big pile of clothes in the corner of the living room. We have no dressers or desks or kitchen table.
It’s like we’re caught in the middle of LimboLand. We want to settle in and, in many aspects of life, we’ve done exactly that. Yet we’re still very much unsettled in others. It’s a crazy feeling and one I’m not sure what to do with.
But the biggest transition I’ve been noticing lately is a mental one. I’ve noticed a huge mental shift in the past month or so. When we first arrived in Boise I wanted absolutely nothing more than to leave my tourist life behind and just live. When others mentioned that there was plenty to see and do in Boise, I wanted to shout, “I DON’T WANT TO SEE OR DO ANYTHING! I JUST WANT TO CURL UP WITH A GOOD BOOK OR PLENTY OF BEADS AND DO NOTHING! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!”
I had no desire to visit museums or learn about the history of this area.
My brain was on overload and I couldn’t cope with more intellectual stimulation.
Now, 5.5 months after arriving in Boise, my mental outlook is way different. All of a sudden I’ve discovered this burning desire to explore the Boise valley. I want to go to museums and historical sites. I want to attend cultural events and learn, learn, learn. It’s like my brain finally processed what it needed to process and is now (finally!) open and receptive to more.
And so I find myself frustrated with the normal day-to-day life that I so looked forward to just a few short months ago. Today, when the boys had a soccer game an hour away I was frustrated that I couldn’t spend the day at the Living History exhibit at the local Natural History Museum. I felt fortunate that I was able to squeeze an hour in – although I wanted all day.
This is a very unexpected place to be in – but I suppose it’s just a normal part of the reentry process. My brain is dealing with so many different stimuli and trying to process it all.
I want to be back out on the road and I want to be right here in Boise, Idaho. I want to put down roots and haul all my beads out of the barn but I also want to pack up my bike and head out for parts unknown.
It’s a conundrum, that’s for sure.
edited to add: Many thanks to Clark Vandeventer for posting the comment below about “THE DOUBLE LIFE” by Donald Blanding. It sums up my thoughts and feelings perfectly – and makes me realize I’m not the only one facing this!
How very simple life would be
If only there were two of me
A Restless Me to drift and roam
A Quiet Me to stay at home.
A Searching One to find his fill
Of varied skies and newfound thrill
While sane and homely things are done
By the domestic Other One.