Hello again! Remember me? I know, I know…it’s been far too long.
I last blogged after a wonderful weekend away in Kenya with my Nairobi Mom gang last year– we had a sweet reunion and I went into our final weeks in Tanzania completely refreshed. Emotional as ever, but refreshed and ready to face becoming an Ex-Expat.
There were so many wonderful moments and events to go through as we said goodbye to Dar. Play dates on the beach, goodbye parties, and “lasts” of every kind: last days of school, last days at the DYC, last pizza night, last days out with friends, last moments with our staff. I even had a first and last unpleasant Dar car accident with 11 days to go. Lucky me to get hit by one of Tanzania’s most notoriously corrupt businessmen who, needless to say, behaved terribly in the aftermath. (The timing and trauma of it overshadowing our last week in Dar was almost poetic....almost).
But it’s taken me awhile to figure out why I didn’t blog about any of it. I meant to. I wanted to. I started to, at least a dozen times. There were so many things to write. But…for some reason I just couldn’t do it. I could say that it was because I didn’t have time, and that would be true, except I know that’s not why. There was too much in my head, and too much in my heart. I just couldn't actually get it all out.
As you know, I’m a sentimental person. I treasure keepsakes and mementos. I honor anniversaries and milestones. I hoard memories like they are canned food before a storm. This blog was always a way to help me process my life when I felt far away from my life – wanting to be in both places at once - if that makes any sense. But for some reason our move, which was not only leaving Tanzania, but also leaving Africa, was more than I could process, even with my normal blog-writing coping mechanism. For a person who never dreamed of Africa, I certainly grew quite attached.
So I’ve taken the year, and in five days it will be a year since we left, to process on my own. It has felt weird, but necessary. In the year that I’ve stopped writing, I’ve received many messages from people who felt really sad. One person wrote to me, “I watched you have all those babies and your family grow. And now you’re just gone! How are you all doing?” Another person told me in person that she missed us! One other person wrote that it was like I stopped talking right in the middle of a sentence.
How lovely and sweet for people to feel invested in the story of our little family that I have told over the years. Thank you for that. And I’m sorry if I let you down. I am a person who needs closure and I am now ready to have it, for myself and for anyone reading along.
In the next week I’ll be posting my final blogs. Blogs about our last days in Tanzania, and our first days in America. Blogs about how we are now. I’m finally ready to do it. I’m crying the whole time, mind you – I still cannot separate myself from the emotion of leaving. But as I told Kristoffer last night, I am ready to accept that we are here now. And, even more so, that we won’t be there again.
Thank to those of you who have read this space for so many years, or for those who just popped in every now and then. Thank you for indulging my verbosity, my naïveté, my figuring it out as we go, perhaps even my arrogance or conceit, to think that I ever had anything to write that people would want to read. But I mean, there were some really cute baby pictures in there, right? I needed this space and perhaps this year has been a bit of mourning for the loss of it as well. So let me get to it…the blogs will be coming out over the next week and you’ll know when I’ve finished telling this story.