Sunday, January 29, 2012

Moving to Casablanca…

This is a sorrowful moment for me. As I eluded in an earlier post, I feel as though certain of my life’s wishes are about to be fulfilled. Yet I am sorrowful. All of our dreams come at a cost. That has been clear to me since the days of sorrowful packing and kitchen floor sleeping curled up with Shaka in an empty apartment in Piedmont park in the weeks before I got on my flight to Paris and then to here. I said goodbye to a faithful (furry) companion of ten years and it was one of the most heart wrenching things I have ever done. I now have two gorgeous daughters standing in her place, but I still miss her, cry for her, feel guilty about leaving her and wish her the best. I imagine it will be like that for the rest of my life. 

And now it is time for another change. You see, Youssef and I moved here because it worked for us. Because I hated Casablanca, because I was stuck in traffic for hours every day, because there was nowhere to take the girls outside for a walk, because there was a balcony and a little girl that lived across the street from us that fell to her death at 7 years old. So we left, we decided that raising our young daughters by the beach was the best for them and we left. We found this place and never looked back. Our girls learned to walk here and yell “abdellah” across the field to the farmer. 

They learned all the names and sounds of the farm animals and grew deep love for the other little girls that they play with everyday. 

They made best friends and deep loving connections with nannies that live nearby and they became used to seeing the beach on the horizon every day. 

Then the day came when we started looking back. The day came that we started thinking about school for our girls and couldn’t figure out a way to get them back and forth. Many many days came and went that I turmoiled over the distance between me and them while I was at work (figuratively and literally). So we found a place in the city, in the right neighborhood, in the right residence with the right kind of doorman and elevator. Then we couldn’t do it. We couldn’t leave. It wasn’t right yet, so we made people angry at us and we chose what was best for us and we decided to stay further. 

Then something happened. I stopped caring about the right this and that and started thinking of what made the most sense. I started imagining a scenario in which I could drop my girls off at their school and pick them up, exchange words with their teachers about their progress and their issues and their work and their lives at school. 

There is a neighborhood next to my job that I drive through everyday and everyday I started to think about how clean and close and good it could be if we lived in that neighborhood. Then…I remembered.
Once, a long time ago, many many many years ago. When I thought I was stuck in Atlanta forever but was kind of ok because I thought I was living with the guy I was going to marry and I had a beautiful apartment on the park and a great job and a dog that I adored and couldn’t imagine leaving…I used to pray. Now I am not really a religious woman, but I have always believed in ghosts and energies and more…so on the darkest nights, the nights where my heart longed for something more, knew there was a part of my life not yet lived, knew that my soul would inhabit a place very far away again I used to pray and I asked for three things, specifically:
  1.  To have children (this was always something I thought was weird because most people start by wanting one, but I always knew I would be a mother of more than one child)
  2.  To speak to those children in French
  3.  To walk them to school and to walk to work
Now…when I connected all of these dots last month and I realized that the only thing I had to do to actually have all of my dreams come true was just not try so freaking hard and fight so freaking hard for the best and most special and most different, when I accepted that, I realized that actually, I am about to have the life I prayed for, like opened up my heart and begged for. And I feel so lucky, so so lucky. I feel like my grandmother has worked a little magic on my behalf also and that I am not sure what I am supposed to do with my time in this situation. I know that it will not last forever, my work will move, my husband will not want to pay this amount of rent for too long, things will change. But in the time that I have, whether that be one or two years, I have the sense that I meant to create. Whether that be art or life, or both or whatever, I feel that I am destined to do this move. And that, my friends, is the only thing that keeps me from a constant stream of tears. The tears are here, that is certain, but I have this understanding to draw on, to lean on, to turn to and seek comfort in. 
How could one NOT be sad to leave this:

And this 

Sad is a part of the process, real hurt, not the kind of hurt that I can reason away, the kind that you just have to carry with you, digest, keep in your pocket and hope it makes you a better person hurt, is the hurt I feel to leave this home we have. But I go forward strongly and with the conviction that we are making the right decision. The girls start at their school in a couple of weeks, they will be learning French, I will wake up in the mornings and dress them and feed them and walk them to school before I continue on to my work on foot. 

For are some of our favorite memories, the ones we caught on camera anyways:

Oh How lucky we have been.


Elizabeth said...

My first thought when I was reading this was to be sad too, sad that you're leaving that beautiful view and open space. But then I got to the pictures of your girls (and I LOVE the one of Youssef with Sophia (?) in the outdoor shower) and realized that nope, it doesn't matter where they live. You'll have those girls and Youssef with you wherever you go, and really, that's all that matters. And if moving means that you can spend hours more a day with them, then all the better. Besides, you can always move again! As much as I hate the packing and goodbyes, I love to see where we're going to live when we move every few years. Good luck!

A Brilliant Life said...

Thanks Liz! Youa re right, home is wher eyour heart is and my heart is with them no matter what. Also it is a new adventure. I can't wait to have way way fewer of those epic long days where I don't see them at all. Today was one of those sunny gorgeous warm Morocco days that make living out here at the beach just magic!!

I can't wait to see your posts about Clara's interpretation of her next home! Miss you ladies (you and Clara).

The Loerzels said...

This is beautiful! And I too pray to the universe that I can speak to those children (or these children, rather) in French...