#230 Bittersweet Northern memories

How wanting to move away from the North has made me feel more bittersweet than relieved, nostalgic rather than happy to put it all behind me, and wanting to hold onto the memories made here, rather than turning my back on them forever…

THE POST

Everything I do lately is the last time. Yesterday was the last time I dropped baby girl off at my MILs to get ahead on some much needed packing at home. 15 minutes and I was home again.

Today the same deal, but this time she was at my parents’ house for a couple of hours.

Drive 10ish minutes.

Drop baby girl off.

Drive 10ish minutes home.

Spend 4ish hours packing and setting up new services.

Drive 10ish minutes to pick her up.

Soon, home!

This will NOT be possible anymore. That was also the last time.

Baby girl pointed to our local shopping centre as we drove past it today. I said “sorry honey, I don’t think we’ll be going there anytime soon.”

I don’t think she fully comprehended my words, but she sighed despondently, matching my tone.

Even I’M going to miss that centre.

She cried when I didn’t let her go to the park near my parents’ house today. She was trying to run off and I grabbed her: she was over-tired, and in the usual toddler way, she didn’t wanna admit it. She screamed and cried as I put her in the car, and I realised, her park visit was not going to happen again. It last happened a few weeks ago.

I hadn’t realised then, THAT was the last time.

I’ve been hoping to take her to our local park before we head off. But sadly, with all the craziness of this week and the insane impending craziness still to come, I think that won’t happen.

When she befriended the local boy at the park a few weeks back, kicking the ball with him back and forth and then following his Dad around the ground as he talked on his mobile, the kids running around in the Spring sun, I hadn’t known then, that THAT was the last time.

And when I walked around the block with her, sometime in August, thinking of our future and where we might be at the end of the year, not knowing what was waiting for us around the corner… I didn’t realise THAT was also the last time.

The last time is EVERYWHERE. When I drove to and from work last week, I thought to myself ‘this is the last time I get there from this side of town.’

When we had baby girl’s birthday a while back… that was our last big party here. The last time here.

When the local fire station had their annual raise money campaign at the beginning of the Christmas season, with their ‘Santa’ walking through the streets beside a Fire Truck singing ‘Jingle Bells,’ I didn’t know then as I held a terrified yet oddly curious baby girl, that that would be the last time we would see them.

I’m thinking of the neighbours around here who are nice. The ones that don’t mind when baby girl and I walk over to their front yard and let her pat their dog/cat. It’s been done countless times, and yet was such a common occurrence, that I never bothered to think ‘could this be the last time?’

I know very well that this may not be the last time, FOREVER. We will still frequent the area, visit my parents and their park, go past the old house, maybe even visit our old shopping centre… but not having the convenience of having it easily accessible, just makes it different. And plus, we’re moving, moving on… which makes it feel all very final. It just won’t be the same.

I’ve been looking into it all, A LOT. You see, I’ve always wanted to move. But it never meant I hated where I lived. Being in a townhouse for 7 years, meant that eventually, very quickly, things got cramped. With the arrival of baby girl, we were finding areas to store things in places that I didn’t realise could store things. And now on her last birthday, as I shoved away all of her presents in the spare room, I realised that we had purchased a new home just in time: we were literally walking around piles of stuff in there.

So, I’ve always known this wasn’t our forever home. We always wanted something more. We wanted something more for so long, that I started to wonder if we would ever get it.

And yet now, amazingly, as we go through this process feeling unbelievably happy and blessed that our plan is underway, I am feeling a profound sense of bittersweet nostalgia.

Because even though I’ve always wanted to move away from here, we have still made memories. We moved in here after we got married. We brought baby girl home from the hospital in this house. We’ve hosted a good number of big parties, dinner parties, stayed up ‘til all hours with each other and guests, talking and having D&Ms and dancing in the kitchen and singing our lungs out.

If these walls could talk… they would tell you a lovely story. A really interesting and sometimes insane one, yet one with an underlying positive message.

I hope these walls continue to convey that message and send that energy to the next lot of people about to come in here.

I love all the memories we’ve made in our Northern suburbs home, and I love the area… even though we’re moving away, and even though we’ve always wanted to move away.

Because, it has a piece of my heart. Previously, presently, and always. When you make beautiful, life-changing memories like we have, it’s hard not to leave your heart with something.

So, what am I grateful for? I am grateful, that although we are moving away, and we have always wanted to, the feeling I hold is not of ‘good riddance’… it is of happiness, and fond memories, and beautiful stories, things that we can look back on, and smile in contentment. Always.

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