About 8 months ago, my big sister moved to Mexico for a year. She is one of those people with astonishing reserves of emotional energy. Raising three girls, two of whom are little, and running a homestead farm, she and her husband (a Mexican national) decided to uproot for a year and go live in Oaxaca with her in-laws. They bought a plot of land in the outskirts of the city, and are preparing it for when they eventually retire. They’re homeschooling the little girls. They wanted to, in my sister’s words, raise them bi-culturally, not just bilingually. The aplomb with which she has handled the drastic shift of locations, cultures, and circumstances is an inspiration to me. It’s a much bigger change than I’m making, and with the responsibility for multiple people. By comparison (and it’s not a contest) her move is much more difficult and alienating than mine.
I am exhausted. Making a move like this alone is surely easier in many ways. But I also don’t have another adult to help me with plans and take some of the load. I confess it would be nice to have help. I’ve already detailed all of the things I’ve done. No point in rehashing the process of a move. Suffice to say, at this point, I have done a lot of things. And I’m almost, but not quite, done. Basically, I have to handle the Post Office, and the actual moving day. The thousand mile drive. Selling my car. Surviving with no stuff for a week or two. Praying my piano survives the movers.
To tell the truth, this feels like the kind of thing that a normal adult should have been able to handle with minimal disruption to their daily life. It takes me a lot of effort to act normal. I feel like I’m not as capable or as effective as most people. Ordinary tasks are exhausting. These past six months I’ve done something totally normal for a grown-up to do: look for and accept a new job, and prepare to change cities to do it. I have dozens of friends who’ve done that, many of them multiple times. Some who’ve changed countries at the same time. With spouses and children. I know I’m being a bit dramatic about all of this.
For whatever reason, I feel like I wasn’t born with the emotional reserves that normal people were born with. All I know is that by putting my best efforts forward, and planning to do what I can, when I can, I got all the things done. So far. And I get to be tired. I get to be sad about leaving the city I’ve called home for more than twenty years. My friends and family and the damp basements full of old drunks who have lived through hell and walked out the back door of it.
I will miss this place. I tear my roots from this soil, and I will bury them in new ground.