I’m sitting here feeling a little dumbfounded, or perhaps more in a state of shock.
For months now, I’ve been sitting in my room here in Emeryville, trying to put to words all the gamut of emotions that I’ve been struggling with for over 8 months now. I’ve been wanting, and failing, to share what it’s meant to be over 2000 miles away from my wife, my kids, my home, and work at one of the best (if not THE best) companies I’ve ever worked for in my life.
What a mixed blessing! To be constantly wishing to be with my family, and yet to be so engaged, motivated, and immersed in my work that no day EVER felt like I was going to “work”… on a professional front, who could wish for anything better? On the personal front… ouch.
My wife put together a great summary yesterday about it all, broken down into how much has gone “on” while I’ve been away, and how much I’ve missed out physically if not virtually (thanks to the absolute joy and wonders of Skype). As difficult as this distance has been, we have been truly blessed by a number of things. When those really important moments came, I was there, in person. Kyle’s 6th birthday, Charlize’s 4th birthday, seeing Chantale’s grand father one last time prior to his passing, and then being able to make it to the funeral. Such important life moments and I never once felt like I was a burden on anyone at either company or department I was involved with.
I used to joke back in June 2011 about how great it was working here and that I could easily see myself taking over a role here but for the fact that: (a) my family, my home, were back in Canada and I would not move them out here, (b) what we’re trying to do for Canada is the reason I came down and I want to see it through to full completion/ implementation, and (c) my job/position/career back in Canada is going to keep me more than busy enough!
But it’s definitely a great feeling to be wanted And I realized I deviated somewhat from the original intention of this post, so let me adjust.
I first came down to Emeryville the week of my birthday, back in 2011, for a few days. I actually made it back home ON my birthday that first trip which was an amazing gift on its own. Afterwards, I flew back down with my team on May 23rd. And from then on began an adventure I will never forget – even if I didn’t manage to capture it fully here in my journals. The point is, though, that at the forefront of my mind was how I was missing my wife, and missing watching my kids grow up. During my first few months, Kyle started Grade One and Charlize started PreSchool, while Melyssa started Secondary 3 and James his first year of college. Again, with good fortune, I was able to be there for Kyle’s first days, too. Unbelievable.
We got into a virtual routine with me spending a lot of time on Skype “living through” whatever events was going on back home – from the “mundane” mealtimes to just lounging on the couch watching tv together. That virtual presence at least kept me connected and kept me sane. But as the vacations came, and such wonderful times were spent back home, it became harder and harder to fly back to San Francisco. We always knew that, soon, but not always soon enough, that final flight home would come.
Well, tonight, for me, that time is finally scheduled. I booked my flight home and the flood of emotions that tore through me brought tears of joy and relief at knowing that I *will* be home for my Wife’s Leap Year Birthday, and that I will once again be physically part of my children’s everyday life. Call it sappy, call it what you will, but as much as I will miss the amazing friends and colleagues I have made here, nothing can replace the people I’ve devoted and committed my life to. That’s just truth of the facts
One Adventure is winding down, but another Adventure will begin the week after it as we continue with our plans for world (or at least Canadian) domination!