maybe i'm just remembering through my nostalgic-me glasses, but it seems like they just do rain better over there in the land of wide open spaces. in fact, it often seems like they do a lot of things better over there. i can't believe it's been three whole years since we packed up all our stuff into a moving van and drove it out here to the south. loverboy says it seems like we've been here longer, but to me, three years sounds real long. one of loverboy's three favorite sentences to say to me goes like this: did you ever think you would...(often followed by, "be married to such a cool guy?" or something along those lines—and no, i really didn't;) i also really didn't ever see myself living in the south. for those of you from the south, Texas is not The South. Texas is Texas. and i've kind of been missing it lately. maybe not just it, although i do miss austin with its manageable city size, informal people, amazing tacos, real coffee places, town lake that's really a river, and rain that falls with purpose...
[long post disclaimer: feel free to skip to the end]
recently i realized—as i started sobbing on the way to the mall—that what i really miss is people. i miss family. i miss friends. i miss the community i had for so long that was mine and was comfortable. i miss having family that i felt close to (geographically and otherwise). and i miss the communal, group-centric life i had during college and especially while spending two years at bible school after college. it was a constant hum of people and togetherness. and actually, i fought it in a way, at the time, because i was emotionally hobbled from various experiences and was mostly unable to just enjoy it. i was closed off and inaccessible, even to myself. still, so many people came through the cracks in my shell, even if they didn't realize it. even if i didn't dare venture out to theirs. and when six years ago i graduated and came home from school, and life changed in an instant, it seemed like i also slowly lost that community. friends got married, moved away, left bible school to go back to their own home towns. it felt like everyone was moving on except me. i may have moved on outwardly, getting married and moving. but inwardly, i felt like i was standing still, alone.
loneliness has been my shadow, an ever-present companion even on the most promising of days for what now feels like both forever and no time at all. i guess six years is pretty long. but during most of those six years it felt like no time was passing at all. as if those years never existed—and yet continue to exist. i know it doesn't make sense. there are still days when i'm in that vortex of bleak and tormenting confusion over how i ever got here in what feels like a stranger's life.
i used to think that i would one day wake up and things would return to how they were before. maybe they wouldn't outwardly be the way they were before. but i, at least, would be the same me i was before. i would be the me i recognized. i would be the same kind of happy that i was and the same kind of hopeful. and maybe i wished and hoped that a lot of my life would look similar to how it was before. of course that's impossible. but my struggle to accept that has been long and slow and disorienting. it felt like life itself had become alien to me. it is a thin feeling. a feeling of having lost myself. of being a ghost in my own life. i was constantly treading unfamiliar territory without even the cognizance that that was what i was doing. so surprised was i to even be this person i was with this life i had, that i wasn't really able to even recognize that things were unfamiliar. it was like being reborn. like i appeared out of non-existence, with no past experience of life to draw from—as if i'd sprung fully formed into the world—and discovered that i was alive and an adult woman to boot, but without the truth that i hadn't been this person before. because i was still me, just a me i didn't recognize.
but i guess what i'm trying to say is that i'm starting to recognize it, to recognize the deep longing i have within to be with family, friends. and also the need to accept and embrace the me i've become.
the truth is, i've experienced a huge amount of healing, a regaining of family and friends, here in the south. as much as i yearn for texas, most of the people i miss aren't there anymore. season by season, and with great strides within the last year, i've begun to climb out of that intense well of loneliness. happiness is something which i've begun to feel again in these last three years, since moving here. and i have to cling to that, to acknowledge it and bookmark it for all those many moments when i feel like i'm not really here.
but today, even though it is dripping like my nose outside, i am reminded that things are very, very good, here and now. i'm so thankful that we're going to be a family of three. and i'm thankful for the families and couples and friends we've gotten close to here in atlanta. i'm thankful for our friday night small group gatherings. i'm thankful for friends who get to visit from other states from time to time.
i'm thankful for 2012, even though parts of it have been the hardest in the last six. although i didn't really do a very good job of documenting most of it, 2012 was a big year for us:
first, we went on a special new year's eve adventure. then, we had a fun, frozen, long weekend in nyc. i had a miscarriage and spiraled into a scary place of fear and desperate sadness. i got braces (and never smiled in a photo again). we attended my sister in law's beautiful wedding (and three other weddings in three other states that same spring!). i dreamed of tacos and rambled my way through my last quarter as a grad student. i finished my mfa in writing at scad which i didn't post about because i was really going through too much to talk about anything. we visited the most beautiful beach in isla mujeres, mexico for our fourth anniversary and thought that was the end. i started to recognize myself again. we watched some fireworks on the fourth of july. i went to london to pass out free bibles during the summer olympics. i spent the rest of the summer sitting on the couch in nauseous misery but i couldn't talk about it because it was the most wonderful, mindblowingly awesome secret! but before you knew about that, i got a job and then turned the big 3-0, while apple picking which is not the worst way to head into a new decade. we also visited family in raleigh for thanksgiving and demonstrated how to (not) babymoon in the north carolina mountains. and finally, we celebrate the second anniversary of fête.
it didn't always feel like much was happening (especially last night while i was sick and we continued our tradition of not really being prepared for celebrations). but really it was a lot for one year. i'm thankful for it, but i'm so ready for 2013!
happy new year!
we are party decoration challenged:/ we know. we're working on it...
B, loverboy, lars & baby