Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Weather or Not

Today was one of those odd weather days, the kind that puts me in a mood, for no discernible reason.

I left the Embassy before the lunch hour because I had to take Kyra to the orthodontist (where, in the space of 10 minutes, she gained a palate expander and I parted with $700...). I got stuck at a stop light along the way and waited behind a dirty delivery truck, wondering why I was feeling glum, before noticing that the normally blue sky was yellow with dust - first dust storm of the season.

By the time I got to the orthodontist, it was raining - just a light rain, mixed with dust and mud. The sky was patchy yellow. My mood was sinking fast. I thought I'd take Kyra out for milkshakes after she finished, just to cheer us both up and finish off the last of the money in my wallet, but the orthodontist smiled up from her chair and announced "nothing to eat or drink for one hour!" So that plan, brilliant though it was, was nixed.

I dropped her back at school and returned to the Embassy instead. It was long past the lunch hour, so I ordered some soup and sat sulking by myself, near the window, which by now was covered in a streaky layer of dirty rain.

And I thought to myself: I am never going to survive my next assignment, if I can't even handle one cloudy day anymore. Seriously. I've gotten so used to blue skies and sunshine every single day that one small rainstorm sends my brain spinning into darkness. There aren't enough sad lights out there to cure what ails me.

But then I remember: I made it through three long years in Beijing, when we saw the blue sky probably a cumulative total of what, 35 days a year? And I survived. I thrived, even. It's all in what you're used to, I suppose. Jordan has taught me that I love blue skies. I'm going to miss the sky above when I leave this place in a few short months. But I'll adapt to whatever comes next. I will.

Anyway. Storms around here don't last long, and this wasn't even big enough to qualify as more than a light sprinkle. Tomorrow will likely be all sunny and sparkly. Just like me.

Many thanks to those of you who have written to me since I posted my last little story. Apparently my guess was right - there are a lot of folks out there who go through ups and downs with their UT reunions. It's just that nobody wants to talk about it. But I've gotten so many emails and Facebook comments that I see I touched a nerve. And you've given me so many laughs, with the things you fretted about during your reunions and even well after your UTs were over. I mean, really - how hard can it be to give a kid a bath, anyway? Or fill a gas tank? Or book a hotel? Or any number of things that went horribly, terribly, hilariously wrong. You guys are awesome. Every last one of you. But especially you, over there. It's good to know, isn't it, that we're none of us alone in this wide world. Even on the cloudiest of days.


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