I was six years old last Wednesday.
Six years, when I'd planned to be away from Dunedin for two (maybe three) at the most.
It's funny how and when that fact can hit you. I noticed just the other day that I no longer carry a map book in my car. I don't feel the same chest tightness in traffic, no longer panicking over which street to turn right at next: I just get where I'm going on autopilot these days. Auckland doesn't even smell different any more. I must have changed somehow, my olfactory now totally out of whack.
I lock my car at the petrol station when I go in to pay, no longer thinking how weird that is; especially when you consider at home in Dunedin some people still leave their keys in the ignition.
But all these things aside, I think the scariest thing is that I no longer notice the differences between my two lives. I shuffle between the them like a social chameleon, perhaps no longer belonging fully in either world.
Under the 'guise of my Auckland life, I visited Scrabble Queen and Tumor Boy tonight. We no longer play scrabble during my visits: three children under five have put an end to that.
Visits to these good friends now consist of a mad cacophony of childrens voices; a rabid mixture of joy, anguish, anger, pain, and frustration. Take your pick; the tune changes tempo on some strung out conductors mystical whim.
I did however find a moment of earth shattering peace holding 5 month old Dario while his Mum ran his bath; but even with those moments of calm, I don't know how his parents both do it 24/7. Anyone who survives this "child rearing" thing with all their faculties intact has my sincere admiration. How do you guys do it?
When I look at my life I see an easier option taken, but not necessarily through choice I hasten to add. Being single seems to give one time to appreciate different things. It gives you time to breathe; and when opportunities come knocking, there's nothing to tie you down or hold you back. I tell you - It's a bitch :)
Given the decisions to make again, I'm not too sure I'd be happy to settle for all this freedom of choice. Then again, so little about our destinations are predetermined. So many endings made as much from action as inaction. The music starts; perhaps grabbing a partner (not quite knowing where this merry little dance may lead), you dance on regardless. Loving the tune is what it's all about I guess.
That, and noticing if it changes.