Ugh. It's been a while since I've felt comfortable in my life--like, since, I dunno, maybe early September? Stuff's just been coming at me so fast and furious that I've done a nifty turtle-trick and have been running on a somewhat engaged version of autopilot. I've had moments of feeling connected and normal, but they've been the exception.
It didn't take but a couple of weeks after moving to AZ that I realized how safe and secure I felt in our situation back in Colorado. Sure, it wasn't ideal and there was only a brief three-month period in 2002 that we ever thought it might last for a few years beyond Mark's PhD. But. Despite its flaws and inherent transitory nature, the situation really grew on me and gave me stability somehow. Thus, I spent a lot of the past three months feeling lost and, in the very bad places, wondering why we ever moved.
This lost sensation, in and of itself, is not exactly novel. But when coupled with the odd side effects of living with my mother again...how to explain? It took me a while to realize what the side effects were, but I figured it out when I was traveling a couple of weeks ago. As I was driving in the rental to the DDJ, I had this odd, proud, smug feeling of "Look, Ma! I did this all by myself!" The only reasion I dissected the feeling was because I remembered having it when I traveled back to the DDJ in December. I must've had a truly horrified expression on my face when I told myself, "Kellie, you are twenty-eight years old! You've been a Big Girl for quite some time now. Of course you can do this all by yourself."
That's when it hit me. Every child (and parent) can tell you that moving back in with the 'rents is no picnic. It's not fun to give up your hard-won independence (or your hard-won empty nest). But it's more than that. Without realizing it, I fell into old patterns of thought and behavior from my formative years. Because, well, I was living with my mom. I shudder to think how complete my transformation would have been had my parents not gotten divorced and I was living with the both of them in a home completely filled with the flotsam and jetsom of our family's history instead of only partially so. I was completely unprepared for what this aspect of living with my mom did to me, and it's going to take some effort to settle back into my own concept of self from September.
We'll be unpacking the last of the boxes this weekend and hanging up our photos and such. I think that will get me out of transitory mode and back into normalcy. Having a week in which we're not moving (or still tying up the loose ends associated with a move), having a car break down, taking care of a sick kid, traveling, and so on will help as well. It's two weeks before I have to go back to the DDJ. Here's hoping one of those two will be the one.