We made it.
Sunday night we pulled into Janesville, Wisconsin after driving for four hours through a rain storm. So far, our journey has gone as such:
Night 1: Crashed at Super 8.
Day 1: Didn’t get a wake up call. Woke up at 7:25 and mad dashed to get Jaz to TAGOS so I could get to orientation for my new job.
Night 2: After being put off by the apartment complex we applied for, we went and looked at an apartment in an old Victorian house. It’s in the process of being remodeled, so we have to wait for two weeks. Thankfully, they are putting us up in a one bedroom until ours is ready.
Day 2: Jaz is at school and registered. I have the day to breathe.
It has been quite the experience. I performed in my last Karing Kapers show and said a lot of heartbreaking goodbyes… or till laters, as I prefer to call them. I left a lot behind. It all caught up with me last night as we laid a bed of egg carton foam on the wood floors and tried to catch some sleep. Jaz crashed into a rumbling sleep within minutes.
I, on the other hand, sat on the back steps and listened to a group of friends laughing a few doors away. Loneliness settled deep. I sent a text to one friend that said, “I feel dead inside.” That’s exactly how I felt. Dead inside. Her response was perfect. She said, “Good. Let the old die. It’s not always bad to feel death. The problem is, we don’t know how to embrace it. But it’s a part of life.” How true.
And thus, new life begins. Jaz loves his new school. His smile was all I needed to see, but listening to him chatter about everything he did and everyone he met reassured my decision. Getting him to talk about his day in the past was much like digging up tulips in the dead of winter. At one point, he looked at me and said, “I actually fit in here, Mom.”
Sense of belonging. I wonder how many people ever find it. So many people I’ve met over the years talk about their sense of not-belonging. It has nothing to do with a geographical location. And not so much to do with the people around. Belonging has to do with yourself. This is something I learned this summer. With walls of defense built around your heart, hiding yourself for fear of being hurt or rejected…that’s where not-belonging thrives. It’s being open to the world that one finds belonging in the world, as well as meeting people open as well.
All the friends I left behind were not casual acquaintances, but rather good friends with whom I belonged. They opened themselves up to me, and I to them. Knowing that, I no longer question whether I will belong here in Janesville. That is up to me.
And about writing…What a summer! Despite the other projects I want to work on, it’s the story of this summer that I want to write now. While the feelings are still fresh and the memories still alive. Now that I have a chair to sit in, I believe I shall begin tonight.
See you all soon! I’m off to explore my new home.
Oh, by the way, I bought air mattresses today, so we’ll be getting a good night’s sleep.