I am learning that no matter where you leave, how much you hated it there, how much you pined for a different life while you were there – no matter how many decisions you made and plans you executed and hours you spent working on those plans to get OUT – once you are gone…once you start doing this again in your new life…your old life seems like…magic.
The above (run on) sentence is true if and only if – you also loved that place that you were trying to leave and you knew that too. I did this with Paris first. My love of Paris is one of the most continuous romantic themes in my life. I love that city, I loved her from the first day up until my last one there. But I also suffered and eventually I made the decision to leave.
I went back to my beloved Atlanta and throughout the next 8 years made a life for myself that included a HUGE support network, pretty furnishings, a beautiful neighborhood, a great job and most of all a really tight relationship with my parents.
I also spent that 8 years trying to get back to Paris. Then – my roof fell in and all of a sudden it was then or never. So I chose then. And I came here to Morocco to be with my Youssef (again after those 8 years) and to be closer to my Paris and to inhale the culture that had enraptured me before Paris.
It has been almost three years and I will say this – I actively fight the urge to plan my way out of here. I am happy here. I go to sleep at night listening to the ocean (which yes – induces tsunami fear some nights but I can still appreciate how cool that is), on the weekend and after work we take our kids to the beach, my babies taught themselves how to imitate animals from all of the farm animals around us, the farmer that lives next door gives them organic tomatoes to eat like apples when they visit, I have learned how to get seeds from my plants and dry herbs and will solarize my garden plot, my babies love tagines, eat WAY more sweets than they should (this really shouldn’t be on the goods list but I know it would be at the top of their good list), they also understand Arabic, English and French, we do yoga poses in our big open Moroccan living room, I am teaching them how to meditate also (Sophia loves to “OM”), Youssef has fishing poles (he went fishing twice – but still), and he started sailing lessons (ok he took one- but still again) – in short we are having a good time. I have even started figuring out the restaurants I can go to that make me feel like me again.
I have fallen in love with my life here and for so many more reasons than I have listed above. So many reasons to love it here. I feel lucky to be here. I know that no matter where I go and live and raise my children that these years that I spend here in Morocco will always for the rest of my life be magic.
Just like the magic that I miss so much about my home - Atlanta. Somedays I pine for the options, convenience, beauty, lack of trash on the streets, green parks, pubs, gatherings formal and in, endless world cuisine choices, rules and laws that you can’t break and can’t bribe your way out of, rights to certain services that you don’t have to tip someone for doing their job. SO many more reasons I love my Atlanta as well.
All of this being said…I don’t know if I am ever going back to Atlanta to live. Every year that I stay gone the thought of going back gets harder. But I also don’t think I am here forever either, I have not accepted that. I feel about here – the way I felt about Atlanta, I love it – I know that I love it and will always always miss it, but I will leave it, and I will return to visit it, but I will make a home somewhere else. Loving somewhere is not good enough reason to stay. Like the saying goes about relationships ‘Love isn’t always enough'. I guess I subscribe to that thinking about places as well. BUT FOR NOW…two things:
- I am visiting my beloved hometown in less than a week!!!!!!!! AHHHHH YEEEEAAAAHHHHHHHH so excited to take my kids to the acquarium and see family and visit the high museum and shop and eat Mexican food and pawn my kids off on family so I can go out and not just feel like me but BE ME. So So excited that I get to recharge those batteries again this year – because it is not a given every year
- Already looking forward to coming back “home” – I already can’t wait to see my husband in the airport and give him his kids back – as in “take these brats away from me” and try not WAIL in public about how sweet their reunion will be. . I Know that I will be happy to walk back through my front door. I know that I will be so happy to see his family again and show off how much the kids grew and how cool they are and how much English they speech now. I know that I will be excited to go back to my job and make the drive from home to work and then back again. Just pure magic.
Those feelings…are a good place to be.