July 18, 2011 at 11:00 pm , by Nick Shell
The reset button has been pressed and the screen has faded to white.
Today my family began life back on the magical island (a reference to Lost) of Nashville where we have been destined to live. It was a big day for all three of us:
I returned back to the same office where I used to work; my wife started a new job back at Vanderbilt University where she worked previous to our move; and Jack went to daycare for the first time, or ”baby boarding school” as I like to think of it.
(I will inevitably be writing an entire post about my feelings about him going to daycare, in the near future.)
For me, starting back over in Nashville today felt like waking up from a long stretch of amnesia, where I remember dreaming of a strange parallel universe I had been living in for eight months; only it wasn’t a dream. It was real life. It’s like suddenly having a flash drive in the USB port of my brain which contains the acquired data to help me best function in this “redo” of my life.
As I rode my mountain bike from my office to Jack’s daycare to briefly visit him during my lunch break, I noticed several businesses and restaurants that have been replaced by new ones; while others are surprisingly still around. And in my office most of the same people were still there to welcome me back, though I saw several unfamiliar, and therefore strange, new people who were walking around the place as if they knew what they were doing.
But it was me who wasn’t there all along, for I was receiving my necessary life education lessons back in Alabama. As of last night, we have officially unpacked our bags. Though we still have a lot of our stuff still in storage, there already is the undeniable sense of “home” for us here. Because despite what we thought was right for us a year ago, we belong here, in Nashville.
I loved being back at my old office today. And my wife is really excited about her new job. As for Jack, I will just have to assume he’s having a good time in daycare; hanging out with other babies who are the same age, yet a lot smaller than he is. I know he’s in good hands, but it’s just tough that they are not our hands.
The time has come for all three of us to grow up and move forward; together as a family of three.
Photos courtesy of Moments in Time Photography in Fort Payne, Alabama: