How do you leave one life and start another? Are you really leaving a “life” or just following the path of the life you are already on?

As we set up the house, set up our lives here in Panama, I ask myself those questions.

The boys are in school. Dean goes to work. I try to write. We’ve set up the living room, the dining room, the kitchen. We are working on the family room and finishing the bedrooms. We found a church. We know where the mall is and where to get a good burger. We have grocery store options.

It feels more real. Like we live here, not just camping here. There’s less of that waiting for life to return to normal feeling. We are finding a new normal – and accepting it.

But as I follow friends and family on Facebook and other social media, I find myself slowly unsubscribing from email newsletters from stores that are not here, unsubscribing from Facebook groups that have emergency updates for the city we used to live in (but hope to live in again). There is a certain torture to see friends at events you would have been at if still there. Don’t get me wrong. I want to see every last photo of every friend. I love seeing the people, the places, the love.

But where do I draw the line? How do I keep the friends and accept a new life?

How do you unsubscribe from your old life without giving up “your life.” Am I giving up one complete life for another life? I’d rather just add to this life of mine.

Maybe that’s it. I’m just adding to my life. When you move, you list all the things you are leaving. But there is a lot I’m gaining. It is a wider life — bigger, harder sometimes, but all encompassing. A little more push and pull than I was used to in the past, but it is my life. All of it.

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