(Warning a bit of a rant ahead.)
Following on from what I mentioned last time is the ‘reality’. Reality does kind of suck. It’s fun dreaming about adventures, imagining what it could be like, but when you actually have to do the hard slog to get from dream to reality…. well it’s bloody hard. Mostly emotionally. I had no idea that getting rid of stuff would take its toll. For most of us (me included). Stuff = Security.
Your stuff holds memories and a sense of who you are. When you get rid of stuff, especially stuff you’ve had for a long time, or there has been significant events associated with items (breastfeeding two newborns on the coach for example), it’s hard to part with them. Even though you know that it’s easy to replace them later. Now try and explain the concept that ‘stuff is just stuff’ to kids. Go on, try it, it’s super fun!
It’s one thing to outgrow a pair of shoes and have to give it away, it’s another story when you have to give up some art project that you’ve attached a part of your identity to it. “Does giving away this box mean I’m giving away part of who I am?” Heavy stuff for a 6-year-old to deal with.
On the flip side is that we don’t want to put a whole lot of ‘stuff’ in storage but we do want to keep a sense of who we are and what we’re about, so some random things have been saved because we need to keep a sense of who we are and retain our security. I thought this was a load of bollocks until I started to do this exercise myself. It’s no wonder that the kids flip out on occasion over the weirdest things, and I need to be conscious that a seemingly odd attachment to an item of clothing needs to be honored – sometimes. Yes, I’ve pulled out the ‘incentive phrase’ of “when we get back we’ll be able to get….” fully hoping that they would’ve forgotten all about said item. Watch that bite me in the butt!
So there’s been more than one occasion where I’ve wanted to go back not do this. I want to verbally rant and say ‘No, I’m not having fun, I’m not excited, I am over this!’ except that isn’t socially acceptable. I think it’s safe to say, that when you find out you’re pregnant at some point you’ll say “What they hell was I thinking, I don’t want to do this anymore!” If you say this to friends and family you tend to get an empathetic ear, because most people understand that being pregnant isn’t easy and thinking about getting the womb fruit OUT isn’t pleasant. Same goes for when you’re in your last year of your degree, it’s a hard slog and you don’t want to do it anymore. Most people don’t say something like “Well you decided to do it, suck it up”, people tend to focus on “the end is near” angle. But there isn’t much empathy when you are working on this kind of adventure. There is a distinct sense of “well what did you expect?” How was I supposed to know? I’ve never done this before – have you don’t this before? (If so, then why didn’t you offer help and suggestions, not disdain.) I’ve chosen to do this yes, but I think it’s ok to be stressed and worried and frustrated and scared and sad and want to say “What the hell was I thinking?!” There’s only so much ’embracing of this adventure’ I can do.
I’m looking forward to being excited by this incredible adventure. Right now I’m over it, but I have to keep going, there is a one-way ticket with my name on it, and I have to be on that plane whether I like it or not. (Well really I don’t have to be on the plane, I could back out and lose bucket loads of money, but I won’t.)