So, I moved, again (cool Christine, not like this is something new in your life here) but this one was far different than any other move I have ever made. It was loaded and emotional and I have a ton to unpack that I am going to do because if it makes one person feel less alone or confused in their struggles then I have repaid the Universe what it has graciously given to me this past year. Everyone out there is crafting a digital image. It’s just a reality of the current world we live in and there is nothing wrong with that but when we show a little bit of what is behind the scenes we can connect with people on a level that is helpful, beneficial and hopefully void of vanity because it is real. So yeah, I do that because I don’t like being a fake…well you know…
We were about 5 months into our Airstream life when Ryan and I were out at my favorite patio dining spot (Brasil in Montrose, btw) and I asked him if he would want to buy a house in Houston. I told him that I really felt like this city had a lot of offer our family and it was a good place for us to stay. He was shocked and I was shocked that I even felt so strongly about this because the decision to settle down in Houston was loaded with guilt for me. How could I find so much happiness and thrive in a city that is 1500 miles away from my family and my home? Since we got down here all I did was scheme and plan of ways to bring us back East. I would have taken Cleveland, Pittsburgh, New York, Princeton, D.C., Philadelphia, anywhere that would have put me in an eight hour drive of my family and hometown. I was one foot out the door before I had even stepped my two feet into Texas.
My husband’s industry can get crazy sometimes. I had literally just pulled into our driveway in Ohio after spending almost two months in NJ with my terminally ill mother who passed that trip when I found out (welcome home!) staying in Canton would not be an option for us. We had just had a baby that year. We had just finished the renovations on our house. We were barely there for three years after our move from Oklahoma. I just told Ryan that if we couldn’t stay that was fine, then we were moving back East because I was done. You might say, “But your life is so privileged! You travel and live in fabulous places. You get to see the country! What are you so upset about?” Yeah, I get that and I am beyond grateful but we are simply taking about a time that no matter how privileged my life is I just had no more bandwidth left for crazy-life shit.
If you’ve been following my blog most of you know all of this and you know that none of what I wanted panned out but what most people don’t know is when I found out about Houston I just locked myself in the bathroom and cried wondering why God hated me so much. Wondering why he couldn’t just give me a break. Ryan had applied for a job in Princeton, NJ and it was the closest shot I had to getting back home except he was offered almost that exact same job in Houston, TX instead. After all I had gone through that year it felt like a cruel joke. Our journey would be taking us further from my family, my life and even my job that while remote was based in New York which is a city where I’ve always felt more professionally at ease. I left Ohio in a daze wondering why it felt like everyone and everything else was in control of my life. I was so upset I couldn’t even focus on what might be on the other side of this move.
When I finally got real and dug myself out from under all my first world problems I was in a new city with opportunities staring me right in the face. Yeah, I could have run home and hid under the familiar comforts of where I was raised and stayed in my comfortable job but it hit me that I was at a critical turning point in my adult life and doing that was not going to make me the person I wanted to become. Growth is ugly and it is hard and you have to embrace that. It’s not all bullet journals and #girlwashyourface quotes. Sometimes growth looks like tragedy, or giving up your life in one place for another. Growth involves goodbyes, quitting your job, divorce, jumping into the unknown or moving in with your parents. Maybe, if you are like me, it’s a lot of crying on your bathroom floor hoping your husband doesn’t hear you. Whatever it looks like for you just know that those really shitty parts count, too and you are killing it. It’s just they are the ugly parts no one wants to talk about. They don’t fit an image. They don’t look good in fancy writing on a meme.
I am settling into my new house thinking about how and why I got here. Thinking about how much I am enjoying my life now and working on projects that align with my best interests. I regret not being immediately grateful for the crazy shit I swore I had no more energy left to handle. You never really know what you are capable of until you’ve been there and there is no right way to handle it but you can’t be afraid or embarrassed if your journey looks more like you are crawling through the mud in cow pasture than riding through a field of wildflowers on a unicorn because no one actually knows where that bitch is going and she’s definitely not taking you with her. I mean, I wouldn’t trust her. Grown ass woman riding around on a unicorn, taking selfies…
No one got anywhere without getting a little dirty. No one got to their highest point without digging themselves out of some of the lowest lows. So, roll up your sleeves and stay the course because this is a journey you will be proud of and come out stronger than ever before.