It was my 10th day in Utah and 2nd to last day on my summer nanny adventure. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel but it still didn’t seem close enough.
In some ways the summer had flown by, but in others, it felt like the longest – most exhausting – summer possible. I still couldn’t quite pin how I felt about the whole experience… But I did know my continued lack of clarity about it, made me feel uncomfortable.
With just one day to go, my brain was turning into mush. I felt as if my confidence was escaping me.
Confidence in myself. As a spouse. As a friend. As a counselor. I felt so far removed from every person and thing I loved in my life and although I was beyond ready to go “home”, I found myself nervous at the same time.
“Why would you be nervous?”, William questioned me.
“I guess because I feel like I’ve been living a different, unrealistic life for a month and a half… and now I’m about to be thrown back into my real one”, I responded.
As silly as it sounds, I was nervous to reenter “my life”. It was a scenario I was unfamiliar with and I felt anxious as I prepared for my transition back. Back to friendships. Back to my real job. Back to living alone. Back to my old house and car. Back to actually paying for things (tear).
But then I heard some beautiful words… “Brittany can you run some errands, please?” “Of course”, I said, while thinking … “YES!!!!!!!” Because when you spend most of the day staring at the same walls, anything that gets you on the outside of them is exciting.
I jumped in the car with my list in tow. I mean, you’ve never seen someone so happy to go pick up a prescription and diapers. Let freedom ring.
As I was making the 15 minute drive to the store, mountains – made for skiing – lining the road, an old song hit my ears.
I turned up the volume because no one can deny “That Don’t Impress Me Much” by Shania Twain. Let’s be honest. I couldn’t help but start energetically singing along. Laughing at how I remembered every. single. word. Just like it was 1997 and I was dancing around the living room with my little sister.
It felt good. It felt familiar. It felt like home. It was exactly the small gift I needed that afternoon.
One. More. Day. I thought. And I’ll be flying home. Thank you, Lord.
Home to my parent’s house. The house I spent the majority of my life in. The house where I’m known and loved. The house where I’m safe to be completely myself.
The thought alone brought me comfort.
Before my plane even touched ground in Atlanta, I was unbuckling my seatbelt. (Not really. Don’t worry, dad.)
I did it. 40 days and 40 nights. Done. Check.
But it didn’t come without a cost.
Yes, I got to see new parts of the country and make a good bit of extra money, but at the same time… my joy, confidence, self-worth, and beliefs felt challenged in ways I wasn’t prepared for.
I can’t say I regret it. I learned a lot.
About myself. My marriage. My upbringing. My Creator.
My biggest take away was that no matter how flashy or appealing other people’s lives appear, they are a terrible replacement for the one God gave you.
Because when you live in the shadows of other people’s lives, you limit yourself from living your own.
And of course (as much as I may try to fight it)… there really is no place like home.
Long story short, if you want to be grateful for your life and your family, spend 40 days in someone else’s.
‘It won’t impress you much’ 😉
Park City, Utah