Wow a lot changes in a year.  This time last year we were just arriving in our new home city after a very long and stressful month of moving cross-country. I mean we barely made out of Cleveland safely (that’s a story for another time) and neither of us really knew how to drive in the mountains.  We were pretty much broke and just kind of crossing our fingers that we’d be okay until the first paychecks came in a few weeks.  Our original housing arrangement had completely fallen through and we weren’t completely sure Ben was going to have the job we thought he was guaranteed.  However, even though it was crazy, and induce the stress that causes a person to become physically sick (yep, I love the way my body handles extreme stress), it was such a great feeling.

Our previous city of Cleveland was not a good fit for us, and neither was just about anything we were doing there.  Now this is not to say that we didn’t meet some amazing people and do interesting things, we did!  However, we were barely making ends meet and in a big city that really puts a damper on what you can do for entertainment i.e. nothing.  We worked with some great people, but that was about the extent of our social group and it wasn’t a perfect fit.  We just didn’t have enough common ground.  We, the husband and I, were changing, growing up a bit and our lives were quickly evolving away from drinking, parties and well, ourselves being our main source of entertainment.  We need something a little bit more and that’s why we took a chance and moved cross-country, in the winter, with a travel stipend that only covered about 20% of our moving expenses.

But as soon as we came through that last mountain pass we knew it had been a good decision.  Granted we were farther away from family and old friends than we had ever been, but this just felt right.  When everything finally feel into place it was like Goldilocks getting into that last bed.  The town, the apartment, the jobs, the people, the opportunities; everything felt “just right”.

We’ve been here a year now and while we don’t plan on making this our permanent home it’s helped us so much.  The money issues are all finally at ease, we’re not only making ends meet but finally have enough left over to let us do things like meet friends for dinner or go to the movies without counting ever single penny.  Our apartment is almost completely passed that college/poor newly wed stage of development and is starting to get a cozy feel and a “this is us” vibe.  We, well I should really say I, have found people here that I really feel understand me better.  I’m no longer doing things I wouldn’t just because it’s what everyone else is doing.  I know I probably sound a little boring but I love having people around that think dinners/drinks with friends for a few hours or hiking or thrift shopping tops any kind drunken revelry.  Because the money isn’t as big of an issue the hubby can now play his online game as much as he wants and keep up with that tight-knit group of friends of his back home in their nerdy way.

One of the most important things is that he and I have been given a great gift, we’ve been given peaceful and fairly worry free time together.  This was something that we didn’t have for the first 9 months of our marriage and for a good time before we got married and while I won’t go into the mushy details its been wonderful to finally have that real together time we’ve never had before.

For me all this has meant that I can finally relax and little and as selfish as it sound figure out who I am and who I want to be.  I’ve had a lot of time this year to reflect on that and have even started to do things as drastic as cutting myself off from people and things in the past to give myself a fresh new start.  Surprisingly enough, by trying to figure out who I am I’ve discovered a lot of that sense of self-worth is from what I can give or do for others and realized that it was the main thing I haven’t like about the last few years, the “I” was becoming to important and while I believe a little selfishness in parts of your life is good for you if you’re honest about it, there needs to be a point you get to when that’s been enough and you’re ready to move on.

Well I’m ready to move on.

———–

This is an excerpt from a post last year not long after I had moved in to new apartment and started things at work.

1. I no longer can race little toy cars down the incline of my back rooms.
2. I haven’t set the thermostat above 65 degrees (and that was on the cold days).
3. I have already been part of more social moments than my entire time in Cleveland and hopefully that will continue to expand.
4. I can walk to and from work by myself and in under 25 minutes (and that’s walking, not biking).
5. I have an actual couch.
6. I can soak in my tub and not freeze anything that is above the water!
7. I have window blinds.
8. I can adjust the position of the racks in my oven.
9. It’s just so darn pretty here!
10. Target is no longer my main source of cheap groceries within 10 miles of my home.
11. People say “hello” on the street and smile for no obvious reason at you.

and. . .

11. I can talk to random strangers (and I mean full, fun, meal-long conversations at restaurants and can crack jokes with cashiers) and no one looks at me like I’m a schizophrenic!

… oh yes, and I have closets!

I’m still very thankful for everything on that list…

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