Meant to Be?

I have very few memories of my childhood.  I can remember breaking my wrist right before my Kindergarten music concert, I can remember the Christmas I got my first boombox, and I can remember the day the librarian told me I had officially read every book in the children’s section in the library and she handed me a Stephen King (I was 8).

I remember that my parents fought.  A lot.  The kind of fighting where I would shut all the windows and doors, hoping the neighbors wouldn’t hear, and then I’d lock my bedroom door, turn up my radio, and read on the floor in my closet.  Fights were about big things: whose money was used for what, and about tiny things: someone came home from the grocery store later than normal and didn’t know what was for dinner.

My household was full of yelling, and anger, and fear. In 4th grade, I told my teacher, Mrs. Higgins, that I was sure my parents were getting divorced.  They did, but not until I was 21 years old, after I was out of the house.

I had a boyfriend in high school.  It was the kind of boyfriend straight out of a movie, at first.  He was unbelievably romantic (dancing in the kitchen kind of romantic) and he was a singer.  He had a gorgeous voice and dreamed about going to Nashville someday to make it.  We spent Friday nights at a small-town bar, me and his parents and his grandma having chicken sandwiches and watching him sing every country Karaoke song they had.

In true 1st love fashion, I was going to marry him and live in that small town forever and have babies and then things started to go really wrong.  But, you see, to me fighting was normal.  After just a few months of the relationship, I was crying hysterically every time I got dropped off or hung up the phone.  My friends, my sweet friends, they tried to warn me; my mom tried to warn me.  I had to figure it out for myself (we won’t talk about the fact that it took me 2 years…).

After we finally broke up  vowed that I would do anything to marry someone that would bring me the opposite of what my own parents had.  I wouldn’t be controlled, I wouldn’t be told I wasn’t worth it, I wouldn’t be punished for accidentally letting the dog out.

When I met my husband, I was instantly enamored by his quiet, calm personality.  I loved him immediately and I went back home after that first summer of camp (yep, I met my husband at summer camp, yo) and told my college roommates that he was the one.  But, he didn’t quite love me back yet.  I needed him to love me.

Together, we have worked so hard to have a partnership.  An actual relationship where we both have a say, and where we make decisions together (little to big!).  If I’m invited to a movie, say, I’ll run it past him first.  I’m not asking him for permission-I’m making sure he doesn’t mind if I’m not home for dinner or whatever. We would rather be home together than out alone.

This week, hubs had an opportunity come up.  If I haven’t mentioned before, he is THE MOST hard working person on this planet.  I do not lie.  But, anyway, it was something that he knew was a long-shot, but we decided together that we’d go for it. If it happened-we would have to sell our house, move across the state very quickly, and pretty much every single thing about our life would change.

For 5 nights, I lay awake at night, wondering and worrying.  It would be an adventure! We’ll be together and that’s all we need, right? I’m ready for something new, I could focus on my writing, maybe I could stay home for a year, I’d live close to a city!

But, my support is here.  We have a beautiful home, lovely friends, we both have excellent jobs and our kids go to AMAZING schools.  We wouldn’t have anything-not even a dentist.  A hairdresser.  A doctor. A babysitter.

Thinking about this, about the village we have here, I began to be so frightened I could hardly breathe.  Was I willing to leave all this?

In my life after loss, I have a really hard time with the whole, “Things happen for a reason,” explanation.  You see, if I said to myself that the job would happen if it’s supposed to, it’s like admitting that my babies died because they were supposed to.

I urged husband to go for it.  I told him I was on board.  And I secretly worried.  Even though I knew I wanted to stay here.  Even though I knew that it felt too risky for me, I told him we were going for it. You see, I’m his partner. And if the roles were reversed, and I needed his support, you better believe I’d expect it.  So, we went together, and we looked into it.

And it didn’t work out.  And when I found out, I cried telling him how guilty I felt that I was dishonest with him and how badly I hoped we’d get to stay here.  And how guilty I felt hoping that it wouldn’t work out even though I wanted him to be happy and I knew he deserved this. I cried with relief and felt a huge brick of stress lift up off of me.

Each and every day, I am so thankful that I can talk to my husband. That I can tell him everything and know he’ll still love me (well, at least so far, and at least I think so…LOL!). I am so grateful my kids see a partnership that isn’t just fighting and disagreements.

Thinking about moving-looking at houses and thinking about a new community-it shook something loose in me. It made me take a good look at what I have here, my support network.  I thought about the incredible school I am so lucky to teach at, and my children get to attend.

Maybe someday I’ll be up for an adventure…Vegas when I’m retired, Fo’ Sho!

Have you ever picked up and moved your whole family to somewhere new? Are you the kind of person looking for adventure, or would you prefer no change at all?  Let me know in the comments.

 

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Meant to Be?

  1. Traci says:

    Hi Christy,
    Change is incredibly unsettling and nerve wrecking to me! However, sometimes the result of it is so worth it. When I was 24 I picked up and moved to California for my first teaching job. I knew no one and ended up driving cross-country with another girl from WI who was teaching in the same district. It was totally unlike anything I had ever done and those who knew me at the time were shocked. But I learned so much about myself and those 4 years have shaped who I am today. I don’t know if I could do that at this point and time in my life with my husband and daughter, but you never know…

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    • I could close my eyes and see really great things happening—but I worried so much about my kids. I know we could have done it, and it would have been a challenge, and I do think those are necessary for us to change. ❤

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  2. Ruth Jones says:

    In 1989, at the beginning of my sixth year of teaching and the twelfth year of our marriage, I had a miscarriage. We were in San Antonio and all the rest of our family was here in the Midwest. Rick was my rock, but the loss was his too, and I was not strong enough to be there for him. I really needed my mom, we needed our support system. Rick promised me then and there that we were going to move back.
    At the end of the school year we both resigned from our teaching positions. We went on the DPI website and applied for every teaching job we qualified for. In June we drove up, left our daughter Hannah with her grandparents, and drove to every school district we had applied to. Just showed up and said hello can you please give me a few minutes of your day. Most places did not, a few took the time to sit down with us. The HR director in Oshkosh actually interviewed me and told me to come back and he would guarantee me further interviews.
    We drove back to San Antonio, packed up our household and moved to a small apartment, month by month rental, in Oshkosh.
    Long story short (sort of) Oshkosh offered me a job teaching a 3/4 combination class at Jefferson School. They liked the fact that I had experience working with at risk kids; Jefferson had a high poverty rate. I started teaching there that August and taught 4th grade at Jefferson until I retired in 2013.
    My amazing husband gave up his teaching job and his position as head basketball coach for me. He had a series of jobs as a social worker, insurance salesman, and even taught in a prison. He ended up teaching and coaching in a nearby small town and eventually became a principal.
    So yes, I have uprooted everything and started over. We did it again when I retired four years ago, and we are still trying to put down new roots here in La Crosse.

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    • That is SO amazing that you went from school to school. I was looking at websites and wondering…how different will it be from where I teach now?
      Support systems are so important. I’m so glad people know they never have to do anything alone.

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  3. Katie L Brossman says:

    Hi Christy!
    I know all to well about the choices of moving a family away from what you know to be as home. In 2010 my husband and I both made a life changing decision and I went back to school for nursing and he took a new position in banking. As I was in the middle of my schooling, he was given the opportunity to relocate to a bigger market. So we moved out of the inner city (where I wasn’t happy about the schools for my boys and the way they were being treated by other kids) and to a small town just south of Fond du Lac. I graduated from nursing school and was excited to start working in my field, when my husband came home yet again and threw a wrench into the mix of our all ready settled home. He was given the opportunity to advance in his career, but there was a catch….we were moving again, not back by family and close friends…..We were heading 4 hours away from what we called home. We moved to Holmen, WI. That was the hardest decision to make since we were moving to a new area with no family, no friends, no doctor and yes, no hair dresser.

    Since moving to Holmen, now 4.5 years ago, this community has welcomed us with open arms and now we have a place we can call our forever home. Yes, it stinks to have to travel many hours to see family, but we make it a vacation out of it. Does it stink that my boys do not have family here to witness their different milestones in school, sports and other things in life, yes, but we have a community that is there for us and supports us too.

    Would I move again to a new place for a new adventure, yes! I would be doing it to better a life for my family.

    Thank you for being one of those people in the community that has been there for us and supported us.

    Katie Brossman.

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    • Knowing you, I wouldn’t have a clue that you haven’t always lived here. You seem so outgoing and like you have so many friends. I loved having Owen in my class and getting to know your family! ❤

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