This is longer than what I usually write because I'm generally all about the pictures but I really needed this to be outside of my head rather than stay bundled up inside and explode. Although it appears to have exploded anyway.
This post has been a long time coming because what I'm about to write about has been unfolding for more than perhaps a year? And even when you know something in advance (not that I ever actually KNOW anything of course) it doesn't mean that it's any harder to accept when it actually does happen.
We have now been in England for officially 12 days past our scheduled departure. I have known for over a year that we might not leave on time. But I have also known for over a year that we actually might leave early. So tell me, when you could have either option (or even the option to leave exactly when you're supposed to, so three options) and you don't actually get to pick a,b or c, how does that make you feel?
Mostly it feels like blah with a side of blah.
Have you ever been stuck somewhere for an extended period of time?
I have been stuck in airports overnight but it's not really the same. Being stuck anywhere, no matter how wonderful that place is, is not a fun experience. Especially when you are being held against your will and due to the laziness and apathy of others around you.
Because we are most definitely still here due to the laziness of others (forms sent in months late multiple times, etc., and if that doesn't make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, I don't know what does).
We are stuck here because Forrest is in the military and has had his orders delayed due to reasons and now we have no idea how much longer we will be here. And it's not a 'great, we have extra time to travel' type of time (although we probably will). It's more of a 'we are going to be too late for me to start school and now I may have to wait an extra year' type of situation.
Tell me, what are you supposed to do with the plans you have already put on hold for two years?
This is a rhetorical question because I obviously know the answer: you put them on hold again for as long as it takes. That doesn't mean I have to like it. Or agree with it. Or not want to punch it in the face. I'm getting kind of violent here but let me tell you, if I could I would kick each and every person who has delayed our paperwork right in the shins (and probably apologize afterwards).
Because right now I am frustrated and I am angry but I am also SO thankful that I never have to deal with this military way of life ever again. If we ever get out of here, that is.
Please don't misunderstand, I wouldn't give these last two years back for anything. I love England. I love living in England. I love the opportunities we have had here and the experiences and the traveling and the wonderful people we have met and loved. I love our house and our pretend cat and I love the clarity that has come with living so far away from home and country.
But even though we have a home here, England is not our home. It has been a temporary home and we have fully embraced this wonderful time in our life together with joy and contentment.
But our hearts don't live here.
If I had known two years ago that we would be here for longer than two years, I would have been just as excited and I would have made plans accordingly. But I wasn't and I didn't. And now I have these other now worthless plans but no way to execute them. I'm maybe being dramatic but this is my blog and I guess I can be dramatic if I want.
Regardless, broken plans are a dreadful feeling.
All the effort and careful research that has gone into a plan is just completely shattered and there you are just standing there with empty hands. Let me tell you, it's rough.
So. We are in the worst state of uncertainty and I can tell you right now that this is not a fun place to be. It's uncomfortable and it just feels like we are wasting our time away. We have nothing left to prepare. We're just waiting. And waiting. And seriously can it be time for something productive to happen because this is the worst feeling in the world, the not knowing when we are going to leave people that we love but the excitement to see all the people we left behind in the states all rolled into one. Not knowing is killing me.
I know that I'm supposed to grow during this time and I have been. I think.
I know that I'm supposed to be enjoying this somewhat forced fake vacation time and I (mostly) am.
And I have needed to learn to let go of things I can't control and isn't that really a life lesson that everyone is continually learning anyway?
So what do I do to have some sort of semblance of control in my life?
I buy flowers.
I buy flowers from the reduced bin at the grocery store because who else is going to buy those sad reduced flowers that never got a chance?
I buy them and I put them in water and I watch them unfold with all the potential I always knew they had.
Forrest always asks me why I don't buy the fresh ones if I'm going to buy flowers and, well, if we're being honest, it's partly to save money (because I am savvy). But mostly it's because I know that those flowers can be beautiful if I just give them a chance.
I can love those flowers even if nobody else will.
And guess what.
Those flowers never let me down. And I do feel a little better.
Also, I have been faced with some really tough decisions like how much toilet paper should I buy? Should I get the bulk pack so that I can save money or will we be leaving too soon to use it all up? Because nobody likes wasting perfectly good toilet paper, but who wants it packed up with the furniture so that you can remember you have a 48-pack of half used-up toilet paper in three months that will have to sit in the hall outside the bathroom or carefully balanced one on top of the other in a corner when everything finally arrives from overseas to your tiny apartment with no storage space?
These are the things I think about.
And for all I know we'll find a great apartment with plenty of toilet paper storage, but until then I guess we'll be liberal with the toilet paper and hope we don't have a ton of extra rolls when it finally comes time to pack up the house.
And just so everyone knows, this is how I have been thinking of every last purchase for the past month. Shopping has become an exhausting experience.
Waiting is stressful.
Just be glad you don't have toilet paper anxiety.