Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Getting ready

Four suitcases down, one to go.

Hey, you try moving most of your worldly possessions overseas and back when you weren't expecting to do so for two more years. Just wait until I get to move our apartment fixings back if I actually find a place of my own this year, which of course depends upon a) being able to pay the rent and b) being able to find a pad in Seattle's ridiculously tight apartment market. Thanks a lot, all you migrating wealth-seeking tech people, turning my old buildings into condos and driving us into hovels on Aurora. Could you go home now?

It hasn't registered that I'm down to my last week in England. This time next Wednesday, we'll be on our way back to the States. There are so many things I'll miss -- Oxford on a crisp, clear winter day; friends in Cambridge; decent beer (yes, even warm beer can be decent). The number one thing, of course, is the part of me who's staying here. Monday night was fun, but it was the first of many events where we're going to be answering the same questions over and over again. Yes, we're living apart now. No, it's not because we particularly want to. Yes, we'll be fine. And you know? We will be. We knew going into this that we were marrying young, and that neither of us was the kind of person who would be able to drop their dreams when the going got rough. If I'd stayed with the Ph.D., I'd be abroad from now until next fall anyway -- and then I'd also have an extra year in the UK, while CB would be going wherever his postdoc takes him.

Is it going to be easy? I can't lie -- sometimes, I wish that one or both of us didn't feel such strong pulls towards the things we want to do. But most times, I'm just grateful that CB is the kind of feminist man who doesn't even ask whether I could resist those impulses. He's the one who's been telling me to follow them, all along. And the good thing is that, if it really came down to this, we would both walk away from it all to be with each other. I just have to have faith in that knowledge, to find the quiet sense of trust underneath the external turmoil. I'll be blogging a lot in the future about the joys of a long distance marriage, in the hopes that all of the other professional couples I know will find a little solace -- there's a lot more company here than you think.

Back to Seattle I go, hopefully a little wiser from living here. I feel like I have a more nuanced understanding of my country now, or at least of how others view us and what I can do to offer a more balanced perspective. I wish I could stay, despite the smoke-filled pubs and manic bus drivers. There's a song that always runs through my head when I'm going through a big transition, and it's playing again tonight.

High winds blowin' in the sky will carry you away
You know you have to leave here
You wish that you could stay
There's four directions on this map but you're only going one way...
You could walk a hundred thousand miles
and never find a home
You always knew someday you'd have to strike out on your own
You look up at the clouds and you can see which way the wind is blowing
Due South, that's the way I'm going
Due South
Saddle up my traveling shoes
I'm bound to walk away these blues
Due South

Okay, so I've never once actually gone south, per se, but so what. I think it conveys the wistfulness and the fortitude pretty well.


Auglaise said...

Who sings the song? It's a good one. And you are kind of going south...I think London is about parallel with Vancouver B.C.'s south.

Good luck with the long distance thing, that's always sucky. I know I couldn't do it! I think it's fantastic that you're following your heart. Believe me, I know how hard it is to be away from home!

Have a safe flight, and, well, good luck! My words of wisdom have failed me today. ^_^

Meg said...

It's the lead off the "Due South" soundtrack. I can't remember his name, but I can look!

Thanks for the well wishes. Stay in touch?

Auglaise said...

Thank you!

Oh, most definately. The next time that you're here/I'm there, we need to get together!