I’ve been dreaming quite a bit recently. I remember them when I wake, try to puzzle it out a bit, roll over, fall back asleep and forget all about it. The other morning was different. I did the dreaming, the puzzling, the rolling over, the forgetting but as I drifted off to sleep I was left with a thought. I don’t think it was necessarily mine. “It’s time to grow up.”
As of a few weeks ago, I’m 38. I have a couple of kids, debt, credit cards, a husband, fancy shoes, cookware, loads of appliances … all the stuff you associate with being a grownup. I even wear make up on occasion. I kind of thought I had grown up. I was being responsible. The kids turn up to school each day with lunches, clean clothes and happy smiles (most days). I may not have a current paying job but I do know what one looks like. Where was this thought about growing up coming from? Seriously!
I can’t say exactly when I worked it out but I did eventually. I think the thought sat in the back of my mind being slowly churned until I finally had the ‘aha’ moment. Now, not everyone is going to agree with my next comments and they don’t necessarily apply to all expats. However, I think they probably do … to some degree.
Initially I thought coming home would mean the end of some of the luxuries we had become quite attached to. It has but it has also meant a certain mind shift. It is as if now that we are home we need to take life a bit more seriously.
Serious is not my middle name and I generally prefer to steer any serious conversation into less weighty waters. However, I can do it. The seriousness of life? Not so familiar with that one. It is a close cousin to ‘planning’. I’ve met planning. In actual fact, I married the embodiment of planning. My husband LOVES lists, spreadsheets, forecasts and all long term paths that lead to a goal. I like the daydreaming aspect of that process.
Serious planning about our future has never really come up before. Knowing where we will be in ten years time is completely outside my understanding. Working out where the kids will be going to high school and making plans accordingly. This is the work of true grown ups. Up till recently, whenever I was asked how long I planned to be in any one place, my response was, “till I move.” This time we have arrived with no intention of moving. I’m happy about it but not sure that my head has caught up with many of the ramifications.
So I now wonder what growing up will look like. Is it the end of flippancy? Will it change me? Reshape me? More than likely. Moving certainly did.