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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Twenty Something Boxes and A Couple Rolls of Packing Tape

It is amazing how quickly you can pack all the things you consider yours using twenty something boxes and a couple rolls of packing tape. Just when you aren't sure how you are going to do it, you find yourself packing the last few items you have been holding off on into boxes. The last pans. Your tea pot. The baking supplies. The silverware.

Monday marks moving day, an impossibly fast approaching date that seemed forever away when we accepted the offer on our place and heard news that our offer on our new house had been accepted a month ago, but now it is three days away.

I knew it would be stressful, moving to a different state, but I didn't think it would hit me this hard. Last night was my last night volunteering at Barb's Precious Rescue and I found myself unable to even say a proper goodbye because I was fighting back tears. I cried the whole car ride home and into Brandon's arms once I got there.

Today, I found myself near tears checking out a library book because I realized it was the last one I would check out from the library I have gone to my whole life. I found myself thinking of all the places I won't go to regularly anymore and all the people who are there, most just acquaintances, but who are familiar and comforting to me.

I am finding that it is not the act of packing my things that is making me so emotional. It is the fact that there are so many people, places, and experiences that make me feel at home that I can't take with me.

The thing that is getting me through this though, besides the occasional, emotional cry, is that Brandon and our three fur babies will be in our new home with me. We have a sign on our wall (currently packed in a box) that says "Wherever we are together, that is home." It may sound cheesy, but it is true.

There are so many people and places in this town that I will miss seeing on a regular basis. I have lived here my whole life. How could I not miss them? But I know that moving to a new place is a fresh start, a chance to find familiar places and people to call our own, together.

Moving doesn't change the fact that familiarity is comforting. It doesn't just instantly make us forget the things we associate ourselves, our home, with.  It just forces us to find new familiar things to find comfort in. I don't know what they will be yet, but I know that we will find them.

Wisconsin here we come! 

Friday, June 17, 2016

I Will Not Let You Recite My Pain

Last night, as helicopters circled over head and I found myself worrying that violence, in whatever capacity, had found its way into my neighborhood, I began to reflect on the terrible things we have been hearing about as of late.

The local shootings, the mass shootings, the bombings, the hate. So much hate. And the fear. And as a writer I find that often, I feel this intense need to write about these things as a way to sort through them. I also, however, keep finding myself at a crossroads.

I am a straight, white, woman who grew up in a middle class, Catholic, suburban home, who does not know and cannot pretend to know what people who are different from me feel regarding these situations.

It is infuriating to me when people try to comment on the situations without having been a part of it or the community it effects. Perhaps this is just social media and the media in general exposing me and my fellow Americans to a platform where everyone feels they should have some long, often political, reaction to the news headlines.

I am not saying that we cannot all mourn the loss of life or have an opinion. Lord knows I have seen the comments about how everything offends people nowadays. As I said before, I know that often we just don't know how to sort through these situations without saying something. I know that as human beings we all have a reaction.

I am saying that there are some situations that call for us to sit back and listen to the victims, the witnesses, their families, their communities. I am saying maybe we need to let them tell their stories. I am saying we don't all need to share our feelings about things because so often we worry so much about what to say that we miss the chance to learn about each other and grow as a nation, as human beings.

I came across a poem (shared below) today that I had written for the 30 Poems in 30 Days challenge in April this year. This was before the horrific Orlando shooting. It was not even in response to any sort of similar situation, but as I reread it, I feel that it is so relative

-      -     -

My Pain

I will not let you recite my pain
for it is mine to share or hide.
I have the privilege of choice, so
I will recite my own pain, thanks.

For it is mine to share or hide,
this image of the hardest in my life.
I will recite my own pain, thanks.
Maybe another day you will share yours.

This image of the hardest in my life,
it means nothing coming from you.
Maybe another day you can share yours,
so we will all understand each other better.

It means nothing coming from you.
I have the privilege of choice so,
So we will all understand each other better.
I will not let you recite my pain.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Settling Into Life

Last January, Brandon and I got engaged.
Last February, we decided to buy a condo together.
Last April, we had the wedding shower, closed on our condo, painted the whole thing in one weekend, and moved our stuff in with just a U-Haul pick up truck and my dad's mini van.
Last May, we adopted our two cats.
Last June, I accepted a new job, my dream job.
Last July, Brandon and I got married.

Now, just one year later I feel like I am doing it all over again. Now, I have my dream job and can't imagine doing anything else every day. I am married and happy to be celebrating our one year anniversary soon and not having to worry about planning a wedding. Despite all this though, there is still a lot going on in my life.

This May, Brandon took a job with the Milwaukee Bucks, his dream job.
This May, we decided to move to Wisconsin so we could be halfway between our jobs, both of our dream jobs. (Yes, I am keeping mine because he would never ask me to leave it for him and I wouldn't anyway. Being asked this is a new pet peeve of mine.)
This May, we listed our condo and it sold in two days.
This May, we found a house in Wisconsin that we absolutely love.
This May, we adopted a new cat since we will have the room to care for more.
And this June, in three weeks, we will be closing on our old place, then our new place (all in one day) and making the move to the great cheese state.

As I have been telling people all of this, they have been joking that things seem to happen so quickly in my life. I have been thinking about this a lot lately (maybe to avoid thinking about how much I have to pack) because it seems so true. Decisions are made and things just get done. Maybe this is because I stress about things if I let them go on for too long. Maybe it is because I know what I want and I make it happen. Or maybe, this is just because this is how things are meant to be.

I think this is the next step in Brandon and I settling into life together. I will have my dream job. He will have his. We will have a house that we can grow in together in the state we always joked we would retire in together. We will be leaving our family and close friends here too, but something tells me the distance won't matter. Something tells me that we will still be surrounded by these people whether near or far, but also be welcomed into a new community. Things happen for a reason and I can't help but think that this is the next step towards finding our home together.