June 16, 2011

Fears and Tears

I've been spending a lot of my spare time (re: when the kids are finally asleep for the night and I have a glass of wine in hand) on one of my go-to websites Okinawa Hai researching and reading all I can. My need to plan and prepare has made this a priority. Not knowing what to expect, I need to be able to hit the ground running once we get to Okinawa. I don't know what my husband's schedule will be like. I don't know what I will be doing on my own, I don't know how it all works. The more educated I am on all of this the better.

However, today I had a truly terrifying realization. Moving to Okinawa and getting settled is going to be the easy part. We have to get there first. I found several posts on Okinawa Hai about the actual journey from the states to Okinawa, and what I read scared me to the core. Lots of luggage, middle of the night departures, nowhere to store stuff, long layovers, needing Yen for the layover, coach class seating, L.O.N.G flights, and all of this with two pretty high maintenance children.

I've been so busy getting my family ready for our PCS and learning all I can about life on the island, that I haven't given myself time to do the natural human thing - be a little afraid, and a little sad about leaving, and be a little afraid, and a little sad that I will be living so far from my family to whom I am very close. I've been so busy comforting my parents telling them it will be ok, I will be ok and so will the kids. While I am indeed very excited for our new adventure, I haven't dealt with the other emotions. I haven't allowed myself to feel or show anything besides excitement. 

I've gotten pretty good at ignoring my negative emotions since my brother died nearly 5 years ago. So good at it in fact, that it has become second nature to focus, sometimes to the point of tunnel vision, on only the good in a situation and completely ignore the undesirable. For me that has been a way of survival for the past 5 years. I've endured so much emotional stress that I'm no longer sure what will break me. For that reason I've been ignoring the sadness and uncertainty I feel about our move.

So when I began reading about other's experiences on the long journey to Japan, the tears began a-flowing. I've been ignoring the scary and the sad for so long that there is no more room to keep it inside. It will no longer be as simple as getting in the car and driving to see my family. It is a lengthy and expensive plane ride for them to come see me. No one can come "at the drop of a hat" like they can while we are here. It won't be as easy as just picking up the phone to talk to my mom at the end of the day, only 1 timezone apart. There were bird's eye view pictures from the plane landing on the island, and it hit me. I will be doing this for real in a few short weeks. I will be seeing this in person in a few short weeks. This is no longer a far off reality. It is MY reality. And so the tears fell.

Then amidst my tears I realized that the world will not stop turning. After I've dried my eyes, life will move on. Even if I allow the tears to fall, things will still be ok. We will get there, we will deal with what happens along the way and get through it together. We will settle in and take care of what needs to be done. Even if I cry a little bit along the way it will all be ok. The excitement will kick in, the tears will fall, and we will live in Japan.

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