home. I am back in Tulsa now, and its lovely. and wonderful. and missing something. no matter what, there seems to be an ache in my heart. not an over bearing, unable to function kind of ache. more a niggling feeling that something is just not right. I am afraid that I am doomed forever to feel that dull ache.
my years spent in the UK were wonderful. and hard. it lacked convenience and quite a few of the 'normal' things that I had grown up with. I complained more than my fair share about daily life. yet, when it came right down to it, I truly felt at home.
when we moved to the states, it too was wonderful. we found an incredible church and connected with a community that was encouraging and challenging. it was what we had prayed for. the daily routines are so much easier with space and car. convenience is not lacking at all in Oklahoma. we bought a house, our family grew and I felt at home.
now, 2 years later, I feel torn. Each time I return to the UK, I am reminded of the ease, comforts/space and church family we are leaving behind in the states. Each time I return back to America, I am reminded of the simplicity, local/sport community, culture and ease of travel left behind in the UK. Having made a home in each country, no country fully feels like home anymore.
no matter where we live, one set of parents/grandparents will always be far away. and that is really difficult. no matter where we settle, one half of 'us' will always be far away from our roots, from the place where we grew up. No matter where I settle, make mom friends and try to do life, I will always have another frame of reference. another home. another life.
somewhere I read the following sentence, and my heart jumped. this is it, this is how I feel. "you get a strange feeling when you are about to leave a place. like you'll not only miss the people you love but you'll miss the person you are now at this time and place because you'll never be this way ever again."
I am not sure if it is too much compartmentalizing of feelings, because at the core I am the same. I am the same person I was in London as I am here. my heart, my soul, my desires, my dreams- they have not changed. the way I execute day to day life has, but not me. but its that feeling, that dull ache in my chest that doesn't seem to go away. I can never relive the life we had in the UK. but even if we moved back to Europe, I could never, ever, replicate the life that we have here.
I am home in the UK. I am home in Tulsa. But I am never really home at all.
This recent trip overseas was wonderful. It was much needed adult time. the first time we had ever been away from lowri and the first time we had been away from eleri for more than 2 nights. it was good. hard at times, for both us and the girls, but good. and necessary. we visited old friends in London. we danced and drank and sang and laughed with friends in a way that we had not done in a long time. we hugged family. we cried tears over missing family members. we shopped and ate and drank some more. we travelled along the entire breadth of England. we met new people and spent time with life long friends. we returned to the exact spot in spain where we first said I love you. we ate at our favourite restaurants and were reminded what it is to just be 'us'. we walked miles along the Mediterranean coast. we explored new cities together. we laughed and talked and held hands and enjoyed our time without thoughts of money spent or bills to pay. we had a break from life and it was incredible.
and now, we are home.
I felt at home in the UK. I felt at home in Spain. I felt at home while we were travelling. I always feel at home while I country hop, exploring new places. and now I feel at home in Tulsa. but no matter what, there is always a little something missing. It's almost like I have tasted and seen too much. never truly satisfied, yet perfectly at peace. as I type that out, I am forced to ask if that is even possible. but somehow, that is how I feel.
for years I have prayed for contentment. for God to truly calm my heart and help me live fully in the present. yet our hearts were made to long for Him. we were made to continually strive for our eternal home. I have wondered if this is part of the way I am being taught to be content. A visual, earthly experience of what our spiritual experience should be. "taste and see that the Lord is good" I have seen. I have experienced. I have seen the beauty and wonder of God and His creation. and because of that, no matter where I am, part of me longs to be somewhere else.
so I will make my home in Tulsa. I will love that we have walmart and target just down the road. I will love that I can walk to church and I will hate that there are no sidewalks anywhere. I will love that we are close to family. I will miss the family we far away from. I will love that we have an amazing church and amazing friends. but I will miss the church and friends we left behind. I will love that I have a car, a backyard, space, more than one bathroom and a kitchen with a table. I will love what we have here and continually pray for a grateful heart. I will continue to make a beautiful home here, live a beautiful life. and I will miss every other home left behind.
life is strange. but so wonderful. and no matter the dull ache that seems to follow me no matter what, I will forever appreciate the experiences I have had. if life had the option of a do over, no part of me would ever undo a single moment, a single day. even if it means living with a pain that is ever present. I will always be grateful for the life I have lived. and the homes I have had. I can say, truthfully, that I love my life. and I wouldn't change a single thing.
welcome back to America, Kristina. welcome home.