Friday, May 16, 2014

Some things just feel like home


If you ask John where home is he will tell you Pierson, Manitoba. He will tell you it's the farm where his childhood Dinosaur costume still hangs in the closet. If you ask me where home is you won't get a straight answer. Mostly because I don't have a straight answer. My parents live in a house I've never lived in, just visited. My grandparents houses are gone and I moved a lot as a kid and as an adult so no where is really home for me. I just have a lot of places I feel a strong affinity for. Winnipeg will always be the place I long for because that's where I was born and always end up back in but I don't think it was ever really home. Just the place I loved the most. I never really settled there. It was always a stop over on the way to some place else.

John and I often joke that Switzerland has to be home for me because I have no place else to go (cue Chris Farley in Wayne's World 2 impression.) We laugh but then realize this place has become home. Not just for me but for both of us. We made it feel like home.

As of right now John is going through the contract renewal process at work. This means only one thing, we're staying for three more years. Three more years in a place we've grown to love and that makes us breath a sigh of relief when we arrive. The prospect of us staying actually really excites us. In our almost 8 years of marriage we finally feel like we've created a life for ourselves somewhere.

Sure I still don't know where things are in Bern a lot of the time (thank you for existing google maps.) And I will probably never get the hang of Swiss German (sorry friends) but we feel pretty settled here. Our first 6 months to a year was a complete write off. We had no idea what we were doing most of the time and we were pretty shell shocked for a long time. John went from a job he pretty much hated but took because the on-call at his previous job was soul crushing to a job that he loves more than I can really explain. I went from working full-time to not working at all and trying to pursue a lifelong dream of writing without really know what they meant. Things were tense and pretty messed up for a long time. But we made it work.

We always do.

And here we are three year later having a really hard time picturing our lives before we moved here. We don't think about our life "pre" Switzerland very often. Mostly because we know if we had stayed in Canada we wouldn't be this happy. Sure we were happy, successful, married, had outside interests. But we weren't THIS happy.  We were in a rut and pretty stuck. We weren't getting along like we use to. We were to busy thinking of "what if..." rather than actually making the "what if..." happen. Now I'm not saying we were headed for divorce or some such thing. We're both WAY to stubborn for that. But we were headed for resentment and a lot of bitterness.

In so many ways Switzerland saved us as individuals and as a couple. We didn't just get out of our comfort zone we got throw out of it as far and as hard as possible. We were forced to work together. We were forced to depend on each other. We were forced into team work. Because when it comes down to it, we're all we have here, despite the friends we've made that will last our lifetime, John is all I have here and I am all he has. We have to make this work together or we are so very very screwed.

We don't think "we're only here for 3 years." anymore. We think long term. We're here for as long as this country will have us and that is pretty awesome.

Yes John will always have the farm to go home to when we visit Canada but I will have a home waiting for me when we get back.




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