After lugging far too many bags through three airports, we are settling back in to life in Austin. It hurt my heart a bit to return. Not because I don't love it here, I do, but more because of what I had to leave behind. Practically speaking, it's harder here. No home prepared vegan meals unless we fix them; no help with the baby when we need a break; no one but ourselves to deal with the mini-dogs Tegan sheds off.
What hurts the most though is all emotional. Leaving my parents and friends in a place where I can't just run over for a visit. Letting go of any hopes for snow. Not being present for what is most likely Ray Lewis' last game in Baltimore. Knowing that the next time my baby will experience my city he will probably stand on his own two feet. All of that is simply hard.
Coming in the door was painful on Thursday. I cried (not that that is a huge rarity these days with all the hormones... will that never end?!) and told Peyton I was done here. Ready to be home. Ready to raise my children with a surrounding village that I know and love. But after a few somewhat harsh (though practical) words from him, I realized that there is nothing we could do about it that day. The band-aid had just come off and I had to take it.
There are definitely ways to not just cope, but thrive, here. Like the much needed girl's night I had with other Baltimore transplants just a few hours after our return, complete with red wine, Whole Foods pizza, and lots of Ravens talk and Declan loving. Or the glorious smell of my new candle filling the kitchen air. Or sitting quietly in front of a raging fire watching Declan practice scooting. These are moments that definitively show that I am also home here. It makes it easier to simply "be" but harder to choose our future.
Home is where the heart is, but my heart is completely torn. I love two places and two lives. (I'd probably love more if I tried, so please, use force if I attempt to add another home base to my list.) Who knows where the future will take us or what path we'll choose to walk. I can just hope that we are lucky enough to have these choices. In the meantime I will do my best to appreciate this place, these people, and this town. I will try to fill our days with love, fun, warmth, and memories of Austin that will glow brightly for years. And yes, I will probably on occasion cry. Because sometimes that's all you can do.
Let's go Ravens!!
LIVE THE MURRAYED LIFE