When we woke up, the journey began. The journey towards healing... back to normal. "Getting back to normal". People say that to me now. They ask me if I am getting there. Maybe. This week, I am feeling like it - sort of. But not really.
Normal was how things were. But things have changed. So it will never go back to how it was. You can't move and then walk out of your house and expect to see things the same. You step outside that first morning after moving and watch. You see where the sun comes up, what flowers are to be seen, where people are, who lives here. You study and find out the paths to the nearest store, the bakery, and where the kids go to school. You learn about where you are until it becomes normal.
If you walked out of your house and turned the way you used to to go to the bakery, you might find yourself in the meat market. You wouldn't do that, of course, but it would be confusing if you did.
Life became confusing like that. We tried to navigate like we used to, but nothing was in its place. I felt constantly stunned... nothing is ok, nothing is normal... Now, weeks into this, I am settling in. There are some wonderful things in this new neighborhood - improvements over where we were before in our old "normal". There are other dangers, too. Different things that caused me stress than what caused me stress where we were before.
I deal with homesickness at times, too. Just wishing for the familiar. Other times, I laugh at the wonderful things in this new place.
I haven't gotten back to normal. I have gotten to normal again, I think. But not the old normal. And it was the very trying to "get back to normal" which caused me to stare blankly at walls in stunned confusion those first weeks.
After I finally accepted that I moved, then I could begin to unpack. To make myself at home here. To surround me with the familiar again. I'm settling in. It is a different normal than where we were, but I like this place. I might even get around to hanging pictures on the walls.
And at times, I still miss the old normal. That is ok, too. Time to grieve for what was lost. And time to explore the new.