Three years ago today, on a rickety deck over a sparkling sea, I made the most important promises of my life. I married my best friend. Under a brilliant cloudless sky on the other side of the world, we began the rest of our lives.
I’ve been thinking about our anniversary all week. Three years isn’t such a long time, but we have squeezed so much living into it. We honeymooned at the top of New Zealand’s South Island. Family from around the world had travelled to our favourite place on earth – and they, along with our closest friends, spent a glorious week as we did – happy, relaxed, feeling the sand beneath our toes and the fresh air in our lungs and ready to start something new.
We returned as newly-weds to the home we had recently bought. The 100-year-old villa in a trendy sun-drenched corner of Wellington was Tony’s project, our doer-upper. Our honeymoon baby was born at the end of that year, his bedroom not yet painted. His first year was spent blissfully and I loved being a mummy.
Just after Milin turned one, everything changed. We turned the key in the lock for the last time. In the darkness before dawn, the three of us and my little bump piled our lives into a taxi and went to the airport carrying one-way tickets to London.
For nearly eight years, New Zealand had been our home. We left friends, family, jobs, security – we left behind our lives as we knew them and said goodbye to what should have been our forever home. I left the newspaper where I had returned to work part time as acting head of news. It was a job I loved. I still miss the buzz of nailing a front page lead, of presenting a brilliant newslist, of seeing the paper in the morning and knowing the many miracles that happened to get it out on time.
Our lives are still in some in between place here in London. We have been married three years. Our children are two and eight months. We still don’t know where we will settle down. Our lives are still full of questions. We no longer have our own home and I am yet to find a job I love again. But it’s all part of the journey we began under that big blue sky in Nelson.
In three years we have fitted in what could have taken a lifetime. Doing up a house and selling it. Having two children. Completing post graduate study and hanging careers (Tony, not me). Moving across the world.
I have no idea what the next three years will bring. Our babies will grow up, I will hopefully find another job I love, we will hopefully figure out a bit more about what we want. I’d like life to slow down a little too, just so I can keep up with it all.
It’s our anniversary today. Over a rare lunch out together, we will clink glasses. I will nervously check my phone for updates about the children. We’ll celebrate getting here, and we’ll look to a future hopefully filled with more adventures and more joy.
*Anniversary is my word of the week on April 18, 2014.