Saturday, November 5, 2011

My Total Truths: #4 Decisions Can Always be Changed

My Total Truths is a series based on MY truths; a list of things that I know to be true and have served as mini life lessons in my experience. 

# 4 - Decisions can be hard, but they are necessary.

It is one day shy of a week when my family left Santo Domingo back to their home in New Jersey and the mere thought of it could break me down into a Hurricane Irene crystorm. I was lucky enough to have my mom with me for 5 weeks (about 2 where I was still pregnant and 3 with the newborn) so I shouldn't be complaining. Most people don't have this kind of help in the beginning, much less ever, which I must say now is unthinkable at best. Additionally, with the move to a different country, one of the things you have to accept is that you might not have people around for these moments, so I am eternally grateful to God, the universe, a greater being that my mom (and abuelita) was able to be with me during the birth of my first child.

What I did and did not realize is how much I would miss them when they were gone. It could almost be looked at as a bad thing to have them here for so long because their absence now is so much greater. Though given the chance I would have them back without question. As Mike was saying before their arrival, there would be 4 generations (JENerations) of Legra women under the same household. (My mother corrected... Baxter-Legra.) All of us under one small roof would be a tropical storm, under normal circumstances, but adding a baby was sure to make the stay a category 5. It was. But after the storm, I was surprised that the only damage done was to my heart. I missed them. A lot. I miss them. Mike too. We all missed them.

I knew I would. It's just, I didn't know how much I would. Between the engagement party, wedding, pregnancy, move from Westfield, wedding, move to Santo Domingo plans, actual move, and planning of baby I was running on GO for months. I knew what I was leaving behind but didn't have the time, or really the understanding, to know what it would actually feel like. I knew it would be hard but when someone is always around, it's impossible to miss them. I understood that the decision to move was not a simple one. I was choosing to fulfill a part of me that was always in the waiting. I was choosing to travel and write and try my hand at some of my biggest dreams. But as Paulo Coelho writes in The Alchemist, "Making a decision was only the beginning of things." We often think making a decision is the hardest part but its the aftermath that you should worry about.

In making a decision to live out part of my dream, another part of me has to give.

When my mom was here, one of the last days, we were talking about how I used to go to sleepovers only to call her in the middle of the night asking her to pick me up. When she would get there I would be waiting at the door and come running out with my pillow firmly tucked under my arm. She said it looked "como el diablo te seguia (like the devil was chasing me)." As much as I am a strong, independent person, I am also someone who misses home and the security of my family quite easily. My mom has never tried to get me stay but always let me know that I could. I could always come back no matter what the decision.

With a new baby, most would say that I have to grow up and take care of my family now. The conflicting side of this is that I have never thought about my parents, grandparents, and sister as an extension of family - an addition - but just simply as part of the whole. They are a part of me, of my family, as plainly as Mike and Rafaella (and Olive & Jersey) are. And the tug between my family there and my family here becomes the hardest part of making the decision I know I have to make in order to live out this part of my life.

With that being said, for now, I have to take full advantage of the magical journey that is in front of me. I am getting to live out a dream with the love of my life which is more than many could say. And I guess, one of the beauties of life and decisions, is that you could always make a new one.

(I love that Jersey "Where's Waldo"-ed himself in this picture.)

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