At the beginning of summer we moved 100 miles across the pond from Gustavus to Juneau, and fast forwarded our lives several decades to the present year, 2019.
My habit has been to choose new cities an order of magnitude smaller than the one I previously lived in: Anchorage–Juneau–Nome–Gustavus. So my return to Juneau, with 30,000 residents, feels like a big deal to turn around and head in the opposite direction.
By most standards Juneau is a small town, especially for a capital city. And big glaciers keep it isolated – one must arrive here by boat, plane, or birth canal.
Every new chapter that life opens, the past chapter swiftly and quietly closes. If it’s because of a change we wanted and we perceive it as good, we may fill a void there by perceiving our life as richer. But sweetnesses of past chapters also drift away with that openning. It happens quietly, we may not perceive it for a while, but it also happens completely.
I spend the time in between naps searching for community.
Whenever it rains you can find us at the pool. I bought a swim pass and baby A can already sort of doggy paddle, kick on her back, and jump off of the side. Swimming babies are the best 🙂
Last summer I spent a bunch of time and money on ‘deferred maintenance.’ I paid for a haircut and got my first skinny jeans – a sure sign that they will soon be are out of fashion.
Baby A and I did a bunch of hikes. A doesn’t like to be carried the whole time anymore so we took to the wide, rather than wild, trails.
We went playgroup hopping, and found a good one. Good snacks? You ask… Good toys? What makes a good playgroup exactly? A good leader. Good community. I need a playgroup that fills my cup.
But the main, permeating sentiment, is why are we here? A job opportunity? For novelty? For fun? I guess the question is more like, why is any of us anywhere? Where else would I be?
I have to ask myself, what’s next? I’m interested in gaining new skills and professional accolades, but I’m more interested in making good friends. I am also weary of mothering and would welcome any diversion as long as we can meet at the park so our kids play.
It’s rare to recognize how good a chapter is while you are still in it. Even now, I feel the urge to go back into the chapter that has passed. I want more gardening, more riding my bike down to the dock at sunset, more days with no audible human sounds except the crunching of my own boots over fallen leaves. But none of that is available to me any longer. The only thing there is to do, is to dive into this new chapter; to try to see the beauty in it, and try to recognize the good things while I have them.