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.