I am fascinated when I discover something about myself that I wasn't consciously aware of. You know, little things like seeing a phrase I use often being reflected in my children's language - the most recent being "that's inconvenient" coming out of my 4 year olds' mouth! I didn't really notice that I said it much til I heard him say it!
There are sometimes bigger things that come up that I was oblivious to until something shines a light on it and it suddenly becomes clear. In this instance I'm talking about moving on. Or in my case running away. I'll explain...
We moved house a few times as I grew up. Big, dramatic, 'leave all your friends behind' kind of moves. New homes. New bedrooms. New schools. New friends. New accents. New dress codes. The last two caused me quite a bit of trouble growing up. People talking funny. People dressing funny. Only each time I was the odd one out.
Don't get me wrong, I didn't move as much as others did but when you have a parent in the forces you can expect a few big moves. This is also not a sob story, I had a great crowd of siblings who came with me. Home is most definitely where the heart is!
So as an adult I carried on moving. A year here, 9 months there, close to my family of origin then far away. The longest I have ever lived anywhere my whole life is this house I live in now. When we leave we will have lived here exactly 5 years.
For a while I've felt that children have made me 'heavy', that moving has become hard. Part of that reason is that I don't want my children to be unsettled in the way that I was. Another part of it is that having so many other peoples needs to consider really does make moving hard.
During the counselling I've been having I realised that a lot of the moving I did was moving away from something. For years as a young adult I had the phrase "it will be better when..." playing on constant. And you know what... It wasn't. It wasn't "better when".
I came across a quote recently that helped me understand why it wasn't 'better when'...
"Wherever you go you take you with you."
It was attached to a tea bag, that quote. It made me stop and think.
And I have slowly been coming to understand that phrase more and more. It wasn't "better when" I moved to France, had my own place, got a better job, had more money, went travelling..... Because the thing that needed changing wasn't my outside environment but my inside environment.
Hmph. Change your inside environment, Vick? Yep. I was the constant in each of the situations I wanted to escape from. Only I thought I wasn't escaping but moving towards. When I typed 'moving towards' just then it auto corrected to 'loving towards'. I love it when something like that happens with auto correct! Because of course if I had been 'loving towards' myself I could have still had all the awesome adventures I've had (although auto correct thought I'd had dentures rather than adventures so it doesn't always autocorrect in a goosebumps kind of way!!!).
Anyway, I was looking for external changes to help me feel better about myself. I can see now that I did that a lot. And I wouldn't change all the amazing experiences I've had. I've done a lot and seen a lot and learnt a lot. I still have a lot more that I want to do and see and learn. And I hope to do that more in the present moment. Like, right now.
And right now I am surrounded by 3 sleeping children. They are healthy and peaceful. My gorgeous husband is downstairs working away on a project. I have a roof over my head. I am warm and well fed and healthy and alive. I made time today amongst the baby care to play a game with my children and to read a brilliant book. I have lovely friends who I can smile about when I think of them, including the friend who lent me the book. I can read. I am well educated. I have a machine that cleans my laundry for me. I got to choose who I married. I am safe right now.
Gratitude has been a massive help in changing my insides. Being able to say 'thank you' for so much in my life has helped me see that it is already awesome now.
And I'm excited about the future. We are moving house next month and it can't come soon enough for me. This house was perfect when we moved in 5 years ago, 2 adults and an 18 month old. We are moving to a bigger space to accommodate our growing family. But this time I don't feel I NEED to move in order for life to be better (although it's gonna be awesome!) because it is already pretty darned great right now.