Thursday, November 19, 2015

Africa and Oceans 11

Think of your favorite movie, lets say for this exercise it is Oceans 11. You watch this movie for the first time, and after it's over for one reason or another, or many, this is now your favorite movie. You've seen lots of movies and enjoyed many of them, but this one, this is your film - the perfect fit for you, the one you'd hoped for and exceeded all expectations. Now, after watching it one time and loving it so completely - you're never allowed to watch that movie again. Sure, you could watch Oceans 12 or 13, but you know that's never going to fill the void that Ocean's 11 would have filled.
That's my best analogy for Africa. The one I'd hoped for. I got lucky and it came my way. I'd had quite a travel drought thanks to the littles, and it was everything I'd imagined it would be, but more. For me, it was as good as it gets. 
I was feeling all of the feels the week I got home. Was it the people I was with? Yes, very much so. Was it the places I stayed? Yes, absolutely. Was it the things I saw? Yes, definitely. Was it the beautiful weather during the day and strange but wonderful rainstorms at night? Yes. The food? Of course. I can't believe just how much I want to repeat it all. I've never experienced this so strongly before. 
It was everything. I made an effort to be present in every moment, to soak in everything, to be able to remember as much as possible. I have been stuck in Africa in my head since I got home, going over snippets of as many moments as I can. Some stories I have shared, some I will keep just for myself, my moments in time. 

I thought going on this trip would be my break from my home life that would make day to day tasks easier when I got home. I'd be refreshed. I'd be renewed. It had the opposite effect. I'm heartbroken. I resent my obligations. Has husband noticed I'm not here mentally? Of course he has. He always does. He's my person. He knows me.
But, I miss the freedom I had when I was in my 20s and it was just us and I could travel (and did) as much as my little heart desired. I could take a shower in silence, I could go for a walk anytime I wanted, I could have a complete thought. A hot meal. I was free. I don't feel free. I don't feel refreshed. I don't feel renewed. I feel reminded of the world I had that is currently gone. 
Obligatory note that I love my kids. Blah blah blah. Right now is harder than I expected. My experience is not average. Most people don't have twins. I am currently spending the majority of my free time with two toddlers and a five year old. I had a full life pre-kids. I didn't choose to have them until I was 32, I had a good 14+ years of busy independent adult life. I am not one of those people who dreamed their whole lives of someday being a mommy. It's part of my life, not my everything.

With each day home it gets a little easier, I am getting back into the swing of things. I'm a little less of a space cadet. I don't think it will be as hard next time I travel, because I won't be returning from the trip that was #1 on my bucket list. The next trip will likely be something run of the mill... Ireland, Scotland... who knows what will come my way. 
It all ended so abruptly. I don't know if I was tired or not paying attention, or if I just really had to pee (thanks, beer...) but there we were going about the day, going on a ridiculous drive to the airport and all of a sudden it was time to literally run to the gate. It was over. There was no time. There's never enough time. 

No comments: