Please allow me to apologize for my absence over the past few weeks. We went to Maine with my family (I could tell you about it in a whole post, or I could just say it’s Maine, of course it was awesome) and jumped right back into life. I wrote this in a Word document this morning and am posting it now from a grocery store with wifi (LOL 2014). We get internet tomorrow and I promise I’m back for good now. I hope you’ve all been well. Did you happen to catch this fun little article while I was gone? Thanks again to the darling Happy Hunters!
Life has been so weird. Our house is still pretty empty, pretty unpacked. We’ve begun to warm up to accepting it as our own a bit; cooking the most basic of dinners instead of eating a million pizzas (even though I’m still like, what’s wrong with that?) and mowed the lawn for the first time. We’ve even remembered what day is garbage day for the last two weeks. But we don’t feel home. Not yet.
Then I go into work. I’m greeted by people who seem to have accepted me, who trust me, and value me. We make jokes of the same caliber. They paid for me to have expensive design software on my computer, and they let me control their Instagram. I think I might enjoy this. I wonder to myself, does feeling home depend on one’s physical home? Perhaps it’s a composition of everything in our lives.
I drive through the city I used to mostly be afraid of as a young woman, heck, I still am. (Of course if you know me you know well that driving in general has always been a challenge of courage for me, let alone daily forging my way through downtown.) This is an inevitable part of our new life, as my husband works in a building nestled among Syracuse commerce. As we drive I watch a community, though some may call a ghetto, I’ve not acquainted myself with. I watch the same homeless woman every morning on the same corner who holds her side and asks for money. Even if she has a home and money, I am sad when I see her and can’t erase her from my mind. This is the side of the city where too many young people I know have gotten the drugs that have obliterated their lives. How do I not dwell on this?
I’m at my first work event last night, my first time being a project manager. My one knee shakes and I wonder if anyone notices that I’m not confident. I get caught up in watching the crowd around me, everything is chaotic. My boss reminds me as the night gets later that I don’t have to work the event anymore. “Remember to enjoy yourself!” I finally get a drink and sit down with the crowd. I think I’m too tired, too relieved but exhaustingly so to possibly do anything other than sit there. But I find myself in a conversation with the owner’s wife. Her presence is comforting, hilarious, unexpected. I accidentally tell her we almost moved to Chicago. I hear myself say we’re so happy we stayed.
A friend’s mom told me the other night, “we’re so proud of you. We’ve watched you keep going while it’s been hard, and now here you are. We’re just really proud.” I didn’t have words to respond. “I think we’re supposed to be here.” Those words form in my head over and over. I think we’re supposed to be here.
I’m not saying I didn’t cry when we turned off the lights one night. I’m not saying I didn’t curse out an ant at the top of my lungs when it crawled across our pizza two nights ago (I really have an issue with pizza). I’m not saying we haven’t had to verbally work our way through discovering that neither of us were going to feel any better about life if we didn’t give up our own woes and go to comfort each other. But, without any of my consent, I think we are where we’re supposed to be. It kind of pisses me off sometimes, but mostly, I can’t believe it. Because it means the vague advice parents and guidance counselors and professors give is true. Life doesn’t have a visible path. How obnoxious is that? It isn’t composed of big events that logically go together in a sequence. You glean wisdom from the people around you that you’re blessed to know, and you take that wisdom and make decisions. Gosh I hate making decisions. Ask my husband. Grocery shopping is rough. You grasp within yourself the essentials you need to make a life you will be happy with, and you decide how, given the circumstances and options, you will make that happen. Being where you’re supposed to be is hard. I think in our case, it is really going to get easier. But we won’t forget the challenges. They’re what will have shaped us.