July 12, 2011

Home... at last?

I think making any big change in life is a lot like pregnancy. When you first find out, you’re excited and nervous. The whole thing seems like it’s moving so slowly, leaving you antsy and slightly nauseated all at the same time. After awhile though, you just start to get tired of even thinking about it—how your day to day life is about to completely scatter, all your relationships are about to twist and even some dissolve. The places you go will change, they ease with which you get around will be a thing of the past. Your laundry will double and your clothes won’t fit. Who knows what your hair will look like, especially after it all starts falling out.

Eventually, everyone asking, “So, how’s it going? Are you ready?", starts to annoy you to the point of mild violence. Of course you’re ready! You’re SO READY! Let’s get this train rollin’, dammit! The last couple weeks are absolute torture. Excitement, fear, sadness, more nausea... it’s all a sickening soup of hormones and adrenyline, rolling around in your belly.

Then it happens. Suddenly, with a great wrench of body and mind, your whole world becomes new. You’re so happy, so exhausted and infinitely proud of your strength.

Three days later, you wish you were sitting in your old familiar coffee shop, freshly showered, maybe a swipe of subtle mascara and blush warming your face, relaxed over a new book—ALL BY YOURSELF. What were you thinking? What the HELL just happened?! A week ago we arrived in Dallas after a day and a half of driving in every escalating heat. We’d been staying in a hotel for nearly two weeks before we left and just getting out of there was a relief. The good-bye’s were behind us and a world of potential before us. We arrived at our new address, hopeful.

But these things never are easy or predictable. The house was a mess, dirty from top to bottom and infused with the lingering smells of curry and dog. Over the course of the next three days, with many false starts, we managed to have it cleaned enough to move in. After my first grocery trip, I tried to set up the GPS to get me back to the house (side note: Our GPS is named Amy and we’ve fondly adopted her as a member of the family). It was hot, it had been hot from the moment we arrived, it never stopped being hot. I started to cry, pushing over and over again on the screen button, “Go Home”.


Now, a week later, we are moved in. The kids sleep easily in their beds at night, Jack has taken back to his crib like a fish to water after a drought. Our kitchen is unpacked. We have peanut butter and jelly sandwichs on hand and I can easily navigate to the store in case we run out.

After that initial period of shock when you have a baby, most of the time, it gets easier everyday. Yeah, everything is different, so different you could never have prepared no matter how much you tried. But over time, a rhythm evolves. You find a new way of being and doing.

Moving here, I’m starting to find a rhythm. It’s only been a week, one long miserable week. I’m still crying at weird things, like not having a bookshelf (the movers sent it to storage by accident) and the way Jack’s room is blue but it’s not the RIGHT blue that matches his bedding and pictures.

I can see a time, soon, where things will feel better. We will join the Y and get our library cards and go to the Aquarium. I’m finally going to bake some cookies in the new kitchen and see what cooking at altitude is like. Maybe I’ll make a new friend. Maybe someday it won’t always be so damn hot.

Okay, that’s probably a little too much to ask for at this point. Thinking it’ll cool off in a Dallas summer is a lot like pulling out your old jeans when your baby is a few weeks old and expecting them to fit. Some things, no matter how hard you try (and squeeze and hold your breath), just take time.


Lea said...

Well said, as always. Moving and getting settled are so hard, especially in a new state away from everything familiar. I hope eventually it all starts to feel like "home" and that everything starts to fall into place.

cjcolorado said...

I feel your pain. Today was an especially difficult day as we are completely surrounded by boxes in a house that is configured entirely differently in stifling humidity with bugs everywhere. I don't have the GPS problem, but the exact opposite--I'm feeling trapped by the smallness of it all and panicky that I might never feel comfortable in this place. Oh, and my oven doesn't work at all. Not that I'd bake in this heat, but still. I feel your pain. I'm glad you all are starting to get a bit settled!

Meg said...

Cindy, I hear ya. The stove/over don't work in any predictable way here and the dishwasher is my nightmare. The hard water is leaving everything coated in film (including me and the kids!). And the floors... the floors. there is no way to keep them clean and I have perpetual black feet (ew). So i wear shoes in the house and that makes it even worse but at least then it's only Jack getting flithy on his hands and knees, right?

oh how easy to complain! I'm trying to go and do the 3 things before bed game, where you write down a few GOOD things about the day. But it's a challenge. Fake it til ya make it, right? Hang in there, and whenever you want me to send you some big-city-getting-lost-ness, I'll get on it!

Good god, I just thought of it... do you have a Starbucks in the sticks?