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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Thoughts

Yesterday I was talking to a friend about suburbia. Both of our families will be thinking about living in the states for an extended amount of time in the near future. I was telling her about some of the houses we were looking at living in. They are completely suburbia. In the Houston area...in established neighborhoods. Convenient, comfortable, safe. She commented that suburbia scared her. It meant settling down...establishing yourself in one particular place. I totally got what she was saying.

I think back to when we lived in the states before. Six and a half years ago. We were settled. We lived in the same house for 4 years. That was the longest we had ever lived anywhere since we were married. The days were routine. Easy. Predictable.

When we moved to Turkey everything was completely different. We do live in a nice place and have for the 6 years we've lived here. It is comfortable, safe, settled. It isn't always easy, and it isn't always convenient. Things are never predictable or routine. Well...I can pretty much predict that I never know what is going to happen. I like that. I like that I don't know what to expect all the time. I am pretty laid back about things most of the time. I did like to have some control over my day, but it isn't nearly as important to me as it was before I moved here. I don't have to be in control. I never know what is going to happen, and even if I think I do it will be sure to change several times before it actually happens. Here things like plans change like the wind. That has been refreshing as well as frustrating. I don't mind the frustrating nearly as much as I used to.

Thinking about moving back to the states does scare me. I have no doubt it is what we are supposed to do at least for a little while, but it still scares me some. I am of two minds about the whole thing. On one hand I am excited that my kids will have sports opportunities, church opportunities, life opportunities that they don't have here. However, I don't want to fall into routines that are safe, comfortable and predictable all the time. I don't want to only be a chauffeur to my kids' games and school functions. I don't want to only be involved in church activities and the PTO. I know we will have to pick and choose the things we are involved in. There are only 24 hours in a day after all.

I know my kids have had opportunities here that they would never have had in the states. I want that to continue. I want them to continue to be accepting and loving of people from all backgrounds and countries. I don't want them to buy into the idea that that stuff is important. I want to provide a safe, comfortable environment, but I also want them to see hardships. I think about the Iraqi refugees that we are good friends with here. I think about the girl who wears a headscarf on our basketball team. I think about the complete multicultural experience they have had here. I don't want them to lose that. I know Houston is a multicultural city so there will be opportunities to meet people from all walks of life. There are all kinds of places to see life happening. We just have to get out of suburbia once in awhile.

7 comments:

Charlie Girl said...

I think this is probably one of the most sincere, honest and in touch posts I have read here...

I am glad you are of two minds, because if you were of a single mind, you would not have your eyes so wide open....

You would not recognize all of the potential pitfalls...

You would not know yourself well enough to have the ability to expand your horizons, your circle of friends, your life...

I personally think you should take up photography full time... share your eye for the unseen with the rest of the world.... expand our horizons, our circle of friends, our lives....

fringes said...

Keep us posted on your decision. Think Clear Lake.

HeyJoe said...

Definitely a big decision and a big change. Having spent my entire life here I often wish I'd lived abroad and experienced more. Nice that you and the kids have had that opportunity. Even if you end up staying in the US, the experience and what they've learned will stay with them forever.

Anonymous said...

Here or there, one life live it:P
Just kidding... Well, maybe not? Dunno!
nese

Natalie said...

charlie girl - i'm glad you enjoyed it. it will be a constant thought i'm sure over the next 7 months before we head back and for the first few while we are there trying to figure out where to plug in. and yes...i'm sure there will be pictures along the way.

fringes - even if we don't choose clear lake it is just a short little drive!

heyjoe - i know the kids will never forget their time here. there will be some things that even time can't erase. i am grateful for that.

nese - we look forward to hanging out some when we get there! i tried coming by the store twice while i was there and there was a young guy i didn't know. sorry i missed you guys!

Michele said...

Can I just say (I hope you see this comment on your old post!) how much I can relate to what you said here? We were doing the surburban thing - and honestly felt like we were being strangled by all of the perfectness of it all. Big houses, manicured lawns, perfect churches with everything all nice and shiny inside and everyone looking all quite the same. A Target or Wal-Mart store always within 10 minutes of anywhere... you know the drill. So we left and there are days we long for such ease again...and then other days where we don't want to go near it again - so all that to say, I totally and completely understand.

Natalie said...

michele - i do. i see all my comments. i have them emailed to me so i don't have to check back on every post. it is always good to hear someone say they understand what i am thinking. i think some people are so entrenched in it that it isn't an issue for them. i think knowing how i feel about it all will help me to make wise choices about where we dedicate ourselves. thanks!