One of the things I’m loving about our time ‘in transit’ is that it has allowed us some quality family time. In the past few years we’ve sort-of forgotten what that was like, so I’m more than happy to put the worries and (relatively minor) inconveniences of our journey aside when I can, and just celebrate instead.
So one day last week my husband and I took advantage of the adult-to-child ratio in our current home, left the kids with their grandparents, and went on a date. Our destination was Manchester, where we had tickets to see Wicked – a show I’ve been longing to see for a long time.
After the matinee, we decided to go out to dinner in one of my favorite places. Thirteen years ago my husband- then a tall, dark and handsome theology student with an irresistible British accent- took me out to dinner in Rusholme, Manchester’s ‘Curry Mile.’ Probably most girls would have seen this as a cheap date, but for me it was a whole new world- and it became one of our frequent hang-outs over the years we spent in the city.
As we walked down Oxford Street, I was surprised to find myself overwhelmed with memories: a pub we frequented with our classmates, the ancient hall which hosted graduation ceremonies, concerts at the student union, the museum I loved to explore, my metro journey in to work, the coffee shop I stopped in almost daily.
Although our aim that evening was simply to enjoy a good curry, we found that we had come full circle- the place where we had our first date will most likely be our last one in this country. I know I’m sounding melodramatic lately- but it’s true. For many good reasons we’ve decided that I should go on ahead to the States while he waits here for the paperwork to come through. We feel it’s the right decision, but a difficult one nonetheless. So my days are numbered here, in this place I’ve called home for the past decade- fully a third of my life. I am excited, and I am sad. I’m hopeful; I’m introspective. And I’m allowing myself a bit of melodrama this week.
The storyline to Wicked (which, by the way, was awesome. You should go see it.), provided me a lot of food for though as its characters weaved an intricate web of good intentions, less-than-stellar decisions, and surprising twists. Don’t we all? Is there anything we can really look back on and call a ‘success’ or a ‘failure’ in life? Or do we really just need to chalk our adventures up as good learning opportunities and use them to help us move forward?
One line from the musical has left me mulling all week. So England, this one’s for you:
Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better…
Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.