In exactly one week, it will be a year since I first packed up my CRV and made a 22hr road-trip across the Southwest- all the way from CA to OK. Only 3 months before that, my brand-new husband and I made the boring and flat road-trip in the opposite direction- from TX to CA, with plans to live in California for a time. Well, those plans fell through and suddenly, quite unexpectedly, we needed a new home plus new jobs. I wanted to move back close to home. Honestly, I didn’t really like California. There are so many people, so many cities right on top of each other. Everyone seemed to be vying each other for a 4ft spot on the beach. There were so many 70°F and sunny days that it became boring, and one began to wish for a day of less-than-perfect weather. Where were the magnificent, old trees that blew a chorus of leaves across your path as the seasons changed? Where were the black thunderstorms that poured streams of cold water down your bright windows as you curled up with hot tea and a book in your favorite reading chair? Where were the frosty mornings that made you feel alive and the smell of spring that reminds the World that life can always start over again? I wasn’t even in CA for a long enough period to miss the seasonal changes in the world around me, and I was already grieving the loss.
So I made a plan. I would move to our next destination and secure a job and apartment there, while my husband while my husband stayed behind to finish the end of his work contract. We would be separated for two months. We decided to move to Oklahoma City of all places. 21 hours away by car. I woke up at 5am on the morning of the big move, still struggling with the thought of leaving my husband behind, but confident that I was making the right choice. I don’t think I will ever forget the way my husband held me and said, ” I don’t know why I’m letting you go….” An hour later, I went over my packing list one last time, and I pulled out of the driveway. Alone.
After eight very hard, stressful, sad, lonely, frustrating weeks, I had a good job and an apartment with my name on it, and had even bought myself a big reading chair. Now I’m quickly straighten up every last item in the apartment; my husband is on his way. I stand in the living room and look down at my phone as it beeps to say he’s here. As I look up again, my husband is right outside, smiling at me through the window….
And now a whole year as flown by, and I’ve learned so much more about “adulting” and married life, and making new friends in brand-new places. Through a lot of effort and research, and a lot of ruined evenings out (because we didn’t know the city well enough), I have found my “spots”- my favorite grocery store, my favorite coffee shops (plural), the best dancing establishments, the most beautiful streets. I know exactly where almost every library in the city is. I have friends, a dance scene, a church, a cool Ferris Wheel to take needed profile pictures besides. Upon reflection, I can’t help but notice that I feel at home here. I am content.
I suppose i could say that one the first Adulting lesson I’ve learned is: As exciting as it is to visit new cities, and states, and countries, there is also great joy in familiar places and familiar faces, and simply knowing the traffic schedule of major roads. There is a simple joy in feeling like you’re home.