Tuesday, October 23, 2012

breaking up is hard to do

Strange life thing no one tells you: Your siblings' breakups may be just as hard as your own. (Well, ok - almost. But still, pretty damn difficult, if you ask me.)

So, is the prescription the same? Hot bath, good cry, warm cuppa . . . and fingers crossed that your intuition doesn't lie. x

Sunday, October 14, 2012

life, last year

Speaking of processing the expat experience, I discovered a few photos from the UAE/Oman archives the other day while hunting for some files on my computer . . .

Throw your hands up! We met some gorgeous children at dusk on the outskirts of an Omani village, all because we followed a sign that said "Castle." I love a good detour. The castle turned out to be locked, but it didn't matter: The children were magic.

At the "Grand Canyon of Arabia." I look like I'm trying to hang artwork or arrange furniture: "A little to the left -- wait, no, now down, no, up . . . ." (I think I was pointing out hiking trails, though we saved those for a return visit.)

Buying a goat hair rug on the top of Jebel Shams, where the same family of herders has been weaving them for years. On a later visit, thanks to a string of inadvertently fortunate events, we were invited inside this man's home, where we were given tea and dates while conversing as best we could with both him and his eldest son. Again, magic.

Riding a camel for the first time while on a desert safari. Honestly, I felt bad for these creatures, but there are some things you don't escape the UAE without doing.

I've already got plans for one of these to make an appearance on this year's Christmas card. I know it probably feels too soon to be thinking about that, but I want to make them myself which requires a little more time and effort. Plus, we have last year's to beat ;)


PS - Thanks to our friend Phil, photo-maker extraordinaire, for capturing these images and many more of us and our life in the Gulf. Lord knows we never would've gotten around to it ourselves!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

between grief and high delight

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I had a breakdown in the shower this morning.

Between working long hours as the days get shorter and barely seeing my husband (and, let's face it, quickly falling into sibling-like squabbles when our paths do cross), I've hardly had time to grocery shop, let alone focus on art or writing of any kind. So my emotional world has been a little out of whack.


But then this morning, somewhere in the middle of sobbing and shampooing, I had a wild thought: "This is probably just re-entry shock."

How come so many lightbulb moments are also "duh" moments?

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So I got out of the shower, dried my eyes and combed my hair, and did what I generally do in times of need: Googled. 

After a few minutes of clicking and skimming, I came across the book Homeward Bound by Robin Pascoe. In the introduction, the author says it took her two years plus to cycle through rollercoaster that is re-entry after repatriation.

Two. Years.

I haven't stayed in one place for more than two years in almost a decade. Which means that, since moving abroad for the first time in 2004 (as an exchange student to Germany), I've never let the cycle of reverse culture shock fully run its course.

This is a monumental realization for me. (Cue "Duh" bulb number two.)
No wonder my life has felt slightly derailed ever since then! No wonder I'm craving rootedness more deeply with each passing month -- and finding it so difficult to find.

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I told a friend the other day that I already have itchy feet, and it's true: I've been daydreaming about teaching English in Ethiopia on a regular basis.

I've also been craving art more than ever, maybe because it's the one thing I've carried with me wherever I've been (well, that and a debit card ;) Also, a good notebook and pencil). When I'm making, I'm in the process even when I'm not actively creating (meaning, I'm constantly thinking about what I'm making), and the rest of life feels approximately ten thousand times more in balance. 

I know that what I need right now is most definitely NOT another move. It's simply more art.

That, and about 24 months.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

bits & pieces of the weekend

. . . most of which was spent exactly where I wanted to be: at home.

(Can you feel that glow? I'm a big fan of hanging out around my nest, by myself. Only recently have I grasped just how crucial it is to my overall stability and sense of well-being. The "glorious alone" . . . )

Maybe I've got it more together than I thought. x

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

on a day when my stomach won't stop hurting

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A hot bath & a hand to hold, and all will be well once again.

At least, I hope so.