Photo c/o: Cottonbro from Pexels
I try to calm my nerves as we wait in line to get our COVID tests done. It is my first time getting this test and from what I have seen on TV, it is hella painful. Will I keep backing away trying to avoid the swab going up my nose? Will I scream out in pain? It is finally our turn and we go in. I am a ball of nerves at this point. My daughter is excited. Doctors’ offices make her happy (Thank God!) She has no problem having her sample taken and cooperates by opening her mouth real wide. Within a few seconds the doctor is done with her and I’m next. Terrified, I realise there is simply no way I can go through the nasal swab procedure. I beg the doctor to have a throat sample taken instead, which he agrees to. But turns out it is not as easy as I thought. I am gagging by the time he is done getting the sample. We leave having both survived the ordeal. (Yes it was an ordeal! Having sticks shoved down your throat is not fun!)
I have wrestled so much with this decision. So much more than the last time. Calculating the pros and cons over and over again and still ending up unsure about all of it. I know this move is the right thing to do but I am not sure I want to make another big move just two years after my last one. Everything about it is so hard.
I could easily title this chapter of my life ‘On the Move’ and I have been on the same chapter for over five years now. It reminds me of reading a book with really long chapters, all the while thinking to myself, “I would have written this story differently, or this part differently.” But just like with those books, I am not the writer of my story. So I keep turning the pages, trusting that the ending will be worth it.
I fasten our seat belts as I try to get my whiney daughter to understand why she has to have her seat belt fastened. She is tired. We both are. It is an early morning flight and I spent half the night trying to decide which of her toys to pack and which ones to leave behind. Does she love baby Dino more than baby Chipmunk? Which one is lighter than the other? Do I really want to pack that noisy guitar? (This could well be my only chance to regain sanity in my home.) How does one even move permanently with just a few suitcases and bags? Permanently. I muse at the word. Is anything ever permanent anyway?
After making it through the numerous exhausting checks, constantly forgetting to keep those printed COVID test results nearby and having to dig them up each time, I can finally exhale. Our luggage is below the weight limit and Daniella has finally accepted there is no wiggling out of the seat belt. It is not her first time flying, but she definitely does not remember her last flight; she was a wee baby. I am excited for her to take it all in this time and actually have a memory of it. But it turns out I am more excited than she is. I turn to her and notice that she has dosed off. I nudge her awake so she can see us take off. It does get her a tad bit excited. Not as much as I had expected though. What does excite her instead are the snacks when they arrive. I did not expect this but it is nice to see her excited about something on this trip. She probably is the only person I know who loves plane food.
As we settle into the clouds, my mind drifts. I wonder what adventures lie ahead of me this time. Ahead of us. The last time I moved here it was just me. This time it is different, now I have a little person in tow. I think of the other things that are making this move different. Things like, I know too much now and I guess that is what is making this harder. I know what to expect. I know how hard home sickness will hit, how lonely it will get, how I will not be able to talk about how lonely I am without raising eyebrows. (I mean, why would a married person feel lonely unless that marriage is going south?) I know how awkward and out of place I will feel in a place that is home but often does not feel like it. I know the exact smile I will give when I get comments like, “This is home now.” Knowing that these people mean well but also having the knowledge that it does not work like that. I know how I will struggle to explain, even to myself, that it is not that all of it sucks but that what sucks often overshadows all the good. That it is a tension that I daily learn to live in. Loving my new home and missing the place that will always be home.
I know too to hope. To remind myself why I am moving in the first place, and to know that it is worth it. Perhaps knowing all the hard stuff to expect makes me better equipped. I will not be blindsided when all these things happen this time.
We are landing. Daniella is seated right next to me, content and ready to meet the city she has been eagerly awaiting.
We make our way through the checks, this time keeping those COVID results close by. And we walk into the adventure that lies ahead.
I think to myself, “Here’s to new…well maybe not so new beginnings!”
Yunia Kazibwe is the founder of Adulting Out Loud. She is a wife, and mother to an amazing little girl. When she is not writing for the blog or recording for the podcast, Yunia loves spending lazy days with family, watching movies and catching up on a good series. Though she doesn’t currently have one, she loves cats.
Yunia prefers texting to phone calls, enjoys taking walks, and her favourite snack is popcorn. She often plays pranks on people, and only stops laughing to catch a breath.