An unintentional ode to my Ikea couch (that's one I never saw coming)
If ever there was a moment for a reflective wrap-up post, I suppose this would be it. Watching our London life fit easily into a surprisingly small number of boxes and containers should be the kind of thing that would make me nostalgic and maudlin. Instead, I find myself a little numb, spent from the sorting and organizing and purging and pre-packing which has consumed the last week of my life and exhausted from the sleepless nights I've spent trying not to dwell on the ways our life will change in the coming months. I've done enough looking back. I'm not quite ready to look forward just yet. And so I'm just sitting here, grateful for the opportunity to rest for a bit, trying to write a blog post on the couch as if it were any other day of my life.
I think my real issue here is that writing a conclusion-type post about our London adventure feels like drawing a line in the sand, saying that it is over. In some ways, there is no avoiding the reality that it is over. Our things are gone and soon we will be, too. But the drive to see and explore and understand that which is foreign from our own experiences is not something that we can pack in a box or leave behind when we board a plane. The things that we've learned and seen and done here are a part of who we are now and the interests and habits we've developed here aren't going away just because we are. The friendships that we made in London can withstand the distance just as well as our American friendships have over the past several years. The travel bug can certainly come with us, too; planes fly in and out of the US every bit as frequently as they arrive and depart from Heathrow and Gatwick. Hopefully, the kids' accents will last, at least for a little while. We will still talk about and think about and write about London and the people and places we love here. "Leaving" does not need to mean "leaving behind." At least that's what I keep telling myself at 2am when I can't sleep for the enormity of our impending loss. London will be in us, long after we are not in London any more.
If it's not really over then, well, then there's not much to say, is there? Except that as I sit here typing so contentedly, I do feel the need to mention that I'm kind of going to miss this Ikea couch. This "oh, what the hell, just give me whatever you've actually got in stock, then" couch, bought on what might have been the most exhausting, stressful, overwhelming, "what the hell have we done here" day of this entire London experience, is pretty damn great. In fact, it might just be the only thing standing between me and a clean break here. I'm just now realizing how much I love this "oh, if we must" purchase. I can't believe I have to leave it behind. I'm really, really going to miss this couch.
You just never know what's going to resonate, do you? If ever there were a reason to keep on moving forward, spreading our wings and taking on whichever adventures and obstacles come our way, I think I just found it in the nice, comfy cushions of my (now) beloved Ikea couch. Closure is a beautiful thing, even when you still plan to leave the door ever so slightly ajar.