April and Kevin in Kuna Yala, the northeast coast of Panamá

Friday, May 4, 2007

Reality starts to sink in

It happened today…the reality of what is happening sunk in in a way that hit me in the pit of my stomach. The reality that we are doing something different than normal, how do I say it….that we are stepping outside the normal boundaries that have defined our life up to now.

I expected it to happen when our house of 8 years…our first house...was empty and we had to close it and drive away, but that just felt like a normal move. Sad yes, but normal. I expected it when I left work, when I went to goodbye parties, when I packed my dishes, when we loaded the truck, and when we sold the car. Don’t get me wrong….each of those moments were big. Each had real emotional impact, but they did not yet step outside the realm of other past experiences. For example, when I collected stuff to pack for Panama, it felt like packing for a trip or vacation.

So what finally brought it home? Kevin and I are at Mom & Dad Cropper’s house right now. They are graciously storing some of our furniture and clothing (they get ½ my parents are graciously taking the other ½). Some of what they are storing is our bed and dressers. We set up the bed in a corner of their basement and that is when it hit me. Strange, but for some reason seeing my bed set up in the basement crossed some line in reality for me. There was no reason to set up my bed there if I was going to be using it in the near future. I wasn’t going to live there in the basement so why set up my bed there?

It was an action that did not fit in to the other emotional scenarios that every other recent milestone had fit into – moving, taking a trip or changing jobs. My furniture being set up there was outside the previously normal…and connected to a new reality…and being on the verge of a new reality and feeling it for the first time was a gut clenching moment. I guess Peace Corps has been lingering on the periphery of my mind for so long that it is a comfortable possibility, but it had not started to translate to emotional reality yet because all of the other changes felt familiar so far. I expect to hit more and more of these moments in the next month.

Just to be complete, here’s an update: We have both quit our jobs. We have left all our volunteer work behind. We have packed, cleaned and closed the house. We packed the 16 foot moving truck, and the station wagon (which we hauled to VA) and the back of the beetle. We left for VA 24 hours later than we had hoped because we are slower than we expected (well, honestly it is because Kevin is an optimist…April knew that we would not be getting out of there that soon J With in 4.5 hours of arriving in VA we had sold our station wagon (we listed it here before we left MD, but we couldn’t get it sold in MD). We unloaded just over ½ the truck, we reloaded some stuff and then planted the plants that we brought from our yard. We are just over ½ way through the move and I am tired.

Thanks to the folks that helped us load the truck: Jeff, Bill, Pat, Rebecca, Pamela, Jim, Meg, & Justin. Thanks to Dad Cropper who worked like a workhorse to unload my heavy furniture. Thanks to all of our Parents for keeping so much of our stuff for 2+ years.

1 comment:

Tabassum said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KEVIN!
We miss you both already!!!
You're the best :)