Thursday, June 7, 2012

Enter: Opportunity

Exactly one year ago, this happened.

My family said their last farewells while Tolly and Amelie quietly watched from their carriers.  The four of us boarded a plane and left San Diego behind.  It was the beginning of a new adventure, and we could only imagine what was ahead in our new home of Houston.  I was in charge of Amelie, and for all but the take-off and landing, her carrier was on my lap.  I unzipped the bag and kept one arm inside to pet her.  Neither cat made a sound during the trip. 

The Lone Star state greeted us with overwhelming heat and unthinkable humidity.  The car rental attendant informed us that it was an “unusually hot summer”.  All we could think about was getting the furry ones to our new home as quickly as possible.  Their tongues unfurled as their chests inflated with every labored breath.  We worried that we had jeopardized their lives that day with the amount of stress, heat, humidity, and lack of a litter box for 6+ hours, but miraculously (after I shed a few tears and whispered apologies to Tolly while Mr. TBS drove at lightning speed to River Oaks), we made it to our final destination of the day.

We walked through the door to the familiar sight of the vacant apartment we picked out seven weeks earlier.  I had been studying the pictures ever since, imagining where our furniture would go and trying to picture us in it.  We fed the cats, arranged our two suitcases, inflated the air mattress, looked at each other, and that was that.  It would be over a week until our belongings arrived, so we prepared to live like college freshmen. 

We were home.

So much has changed in the last year for me and for my marriage, and although we had a change of plans after arriving, things have only changed for the better.

I came here unemployed but very hopeful, and I was lucky to land a really great job six days later.  I thought it was just a job, but I now know how lucky I am to work for two bosses who are respectful, funny, ambitious, and always striving to learn more.  I don't like to use the word luck often, because I believe in my own power more, but in this case, the word applies.  Right time, right place.  Also, I started blogging, began my own research to a healthy and green lifestyle, and thought more seriously about graduate school.  Surprisingly, I've also learned exactly how independent I am.  Although I don't have any friends here, I've been happy, even without social outings, constant contact with others, or hearing things like "your outfit is so cute".  Ultimately, Houston gave me a clean slate last summer, and I've been able to do things I may not have otherwise, at least not in a year's time.

Source (That's me in the grey tank top!)

In my marriage, I've learned the importance of alone time and together time and how to balance the two.  With the stress of changed plans and making crucial joint decisions, we've proven that we really do communicate incredibly well, and we are a strong team.  We also experienced heartbreak when we lost Tolly just after Christmas.  Being on our own in Houston has given us room to grow and create a solid foundation for our marriage, together.  Just us.  And now, we love dreaming together about things as small as weekend activities and as large as where we'll be in five years.

I never would have thought I’d live in Texas or that I’d like living here (still shocked, actually).  Our lives are better because of the choices we made and had faith in.  Yesterday we talked about how much we’ve accomplished and overcome in the last year, and we’re so excited to see how much more we can do in one, two, ten years!

Opportunity really is around every corner!

Life is what you make it.  Enjoy it!


Michelle said...

This post took me back to when my husband and I were first married, 19 years ago. My hubby was in the Marine Corps and we traveled all over the country. Not living near family for 10+ years was hard but I am thankful for the independence and reliance that we learned to have on each other. Thanks for the flashback!

Unknown said...

umm what a great post!!
So many great/scary memories for you!!
So incredibly happy for you!!


Katie Price said...

Such a sweet post, Lindsey. Isn't it crazy what can happen in a year? It's so encouraging to hear other people's stories of moving & being happy wherever you are.

We brought our two kitties with us to Dominica, and it was terrifying to see them panting in the heat when we got here. We only have the one now too (only Adam of Adam + Eve) and many more moves to make. Thank you for the reminder though that wherever we end up, it will be okay. And maybe not just okay - maybe better than I could imagine!

Empirically Erin said...

I love this post too! Isn't it incredible to think back to how different life was just a year ago? It amazes me to think about how much a person can go through in a lifetime. My husband and I bought our house a year I've been thinking about the past year a lot too and will probably write a post about it too!

Sam said...

Great post! Don't worry, your bloggy friends here will always tell your that your outfit is so cute! Seriiously, the blue/teal dress with the belt?? Love!

Clare said...

This is such a great post! It really is crazy to think about all that can happen in just a year! It sounds like you have grown so much in the past year, and that you and your husband have made the most out of the move and your new experience in Houston. That is wonderful!

Emily @ Emmy June said...

It is nice to have a clean slate, isn't it? As much as it can suck being away from friends and family, I've definitely found that it can be a good exercise for the marriage to grow stronger. Since we pretty much live our lives in parallel, I can "ditto" a lot of this!

RadiantKristen said...

I am so glad this has worked out for you. I started over with a clean slate when I went to college 1000 miles away from everyone and everything I knew, and it was honestly the best decision I made during that stage of my life.

Gesci said...

This is a great retrospective post! Moving with pets is never easy- we've done several cross-country drives with them, nearly ten half-cross-country drives, and one flight... with another coming up this fall. I'm just glad yours were able to be in the cabin with you- I'm so envious of that!
My heart breaks for you about losing Tolly, too. Losing a family member is never easy, no matter how small they are or how long they've been a part of the family. We still talk about ours- just because they leave your presence, they never leave your heart!
Hugs to Amelia!!

Jess said...

You are so awesome.
Just so you know!

I'm so proud of who you are!
Love you!


Whitney said...

Lindsay, I almost cried reading this. I know exactly how you felt and even still feel it somewhat to this day. Especially the part about not having friends. I might give you an especially big hug on Sunday!

Michelle said...

Love this!! Just like you guys, James and I made a big move too right after the wedding. I totally understand all those transitions and new jobs and change of plans. Glad things have turned out so well!

Laura said...

This is a great story and quite hopeful!!