Saturday, June 27, 2009

In control

I have made a final decision about our departure date for Ecuador. August 5, a little over a month from now. I wanted to leave earlier and focus a few weeks on learning Spanish and finding a place to live before Eric arrives mid-August. But with my passport arriving the third week of July, I did not want to be desperate if it arrives late, and I have been advised that it is better to get my visa before I go, and that it will take just a drive to DC and back in a day to accomplish that. I will have a few more days to make final arrangements and then Maya and I will drive to Tampa to drop off the car and then fly to Miami to catch our flight to Quito. I have purchased the tickets, we are committed.

I wondered for a while if I was avoiding the move to Ecuador. Of course there are always reasons to stay at home longer and prepare more and organize our lives. In truth, with the renters moving in on July 15, I could have left anytime after that, except for my passport problem. And the tasks to be finished before we leave could be done more efficiently and we could have left earlier. I question my motives and the unconscious motivations for the decisions I make. Most of the time I have not made decisions these last months; I have chosen to wait and see what happens, and more often than not, Eric has made the decision and by not being proactive, my choice has been to go along with his decision. I am not sure what that is about, because I usually make decisions and choices and Eric or the family go along with the moves I make. I wonder if by surrendering so much in leaving my life in Baltimore, I have chosen to be passive. Being passive means making a decision too, however.

I am struggling; letting go of my illusion of control. I have believed that I have had control over my life, have made decisions, (right or wrong, but still my decisions) and made things happen. Now I have an opportunity for the first time in my adult life, to let someone else take control, to follow Eric's lead, to support him in his pursuits. This new role does not quite fit me yet. It will take some time to be comfortable as the new me!

So being in Cape Cod is being in Eric's territory. It is his place, his refuge. I am a guest here, it is not my space. The cabin that the MBL provides for Eric has housed all sorts of people, including his graduate students, guest lecturers, family, friends. Eric is the provider of shelter, and this time his PhD student and her chinchilla are there. There is room for Maya and I, but we are clearly visitors who will be tolerated for a couple of days until the household reverts to normal. Eric and his student leave for the lab early in the morning, and Maya and I are free to explore. The best way to go to Woods Hole form our cabin is by bike, and our first stop is 'Pie in the Sky' bakery for breakfast. We find our favourite beach and rush back to the cabin for bathing suits and spend our morning warming up enough to plunge in the cold water for a swim. We meet Eric and his colleagues for lunch and return to the beach to soak up the sun and meet other scientists and their wives and children. I forgot sunscreen (actually the weatehr forecast was for rain and cold so I did nto think we needed sunscreen) so I burn, and I never get back into the water, it simply feels colder as the day progresses. We enjoy the gorgeous sunny day even more because it is unexpected.

Maya is in heaven. She loves the beach, and meets friends to play with. Scientists' children come here every year, so they know each other and attend camps together and expect to meet yearly. I think Eric wants to make the MBL his yearly summer event, and would like Maya and I to come yearly and integrate ourselves in the community. I could never see that happen in our former life, at lease when I am running two practices, that would never happen, but now that I have given up my former life, it is entirely possible that we will spend each summer in this gorgeous place.

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