Seven years ago, we were loading our storage unit into a moving truck. My only worry then was that I was uprooting my life to go live in another state with my boyfriend. No job, no ring, nothing. Little did I know that that would all change and my life would become better than I could have dreamed it – good, bad and horrific, we have done it together and created something together that I am proud of.
Today, I stood in the hallway between my girl’s rooms with an empty box. Diem’s was once covered in lavender scented baby powder. Cori’s houses her very first BIG GIRL bed and the small bathroom nestled between the two is where they learned to potty train… as much as that memory is one I’d love to fade just a tiiiiiny bit.
The playroom is where imagination explodes, mine included, and our living room is full of dance parties, a broken leg, repetitive cartoons/movies and countless moments of laughter and tears and wine. My kitchen is where SO much of my creativity and therapy has taken place and my dining room window is the spot that inspires an inner peace that I can’t quite put into words.
All this to say, there isn’t a room in my home that doesn’t have a memory that I cling to, and I don’t know how to be OK leaving it. How do I pack up this life we’ve built and rip away a piece of it that represents everything that I value? How can I put a price on this and walk away?
Moving to Louisiana was exciting, fun, an adventure to me! Chris and I were embarking on something new and special to US and beginning our life together. Now, it’s so much more complicated. We have roots here, this is all my children know as home. Their tiny minds, as much discussion as we may have had, cannot reconcile that this won’t be their home anymore. That everything will change. Teachers, friends, places we go…
It breaks my heart even though I know it’s a good thing. I am someone who requires a plan/structure, it’s where I thrive. That has only intensified when we started our family. I need to make a home and to provide them with stability and the idea that they know (for the most part) what to expect and that they CAN expect things day-to-day.
Needless to say, oilfield life promises none of the things my anxious mind requires… it’s a life that gives me sleepless nights and, often times an empty spot next to me in bed. A life I NEVER would have envisioned for myself and fight, kicking and screaming every inch along the way. (Not literally – my kids do the majority of the kicking and screaming).
All this to say… oilfield life is nomadic and requires a degree of emotional separation that does not come naturally to me. I am not cut out for this, however I am shoving my square peg-ness in the round hole to the best of my ability, every damn day.
I enjoy meeting new people despite my borderline social anxiety, I don’t have a problem going up to strangers and introducing myself. But, it’s a lonely life to feel like I’m collecting friends instead of really getting to form deeper bonds and have the comfortability in knowing the friendship is genuine. I consider myself lucky that I have been able to do that at all, but it is exhausting. Not only because I am so incredibly self-reflective so anytime I meet someone new, I spend the ENTIRE rest of my life obsessing over everything I said and did, wondering if I came off too strong, or offended someone with my humor or was just generally too awkward to function. But, now that I have a household to maintain and kids who just keep growing and needing more, of me, of things, of time… it’s extremely exhausting to have to keep reaching out for relationships and feeling like you’re not meeting their expectations. I am giving to a fault and I give so much in hopes that the person who is taking, appreciates it and gives me the only thing I really want in return… someone to text while I sip my wine and watch my DVR at night. I do it because as a human being, we need relationships that don’t revolve around cartoons and school projects. It’s worth the effort when you find people that are worthy of it, however it doesn’t take away from the effortlessness that comes with bonds that already exist. People that just get you and it doesn’t feel like work.
I fear my children will miss things that I can’t replace. I feel sad moving Cori from a school she loves and worry about her struggling in a new school with new kids.
I had a really hard time creating lasting friendships. It’s very difficult for adults, especially ones (like me) who no longer work outside of the home because everyone has their own worlds now. They have kids and soccer practice and dinner dates and play dates and a whole little system in which their world revolves… I am an outsider.
Over the last 7 years, when we go to Houston it’s fun because my friends that have stood the test of distance and time, make the effort to step outside of their busy lives to accommodate me while we are in town. I know that won’t be the case once we are there permanently. I know the feeling of being totally thrown off if my own system is disrupted and I don’t want my friends to feel that obligation as we settle back into our hometown.
Change is scary but transition is what’s hard – the unknown of all the things that I KNOW here. I am doing a lot of meditating and deep breathing lately, learning to limit what I put on my plate and preparing myself for this next step. Because this time, it’s not just me I’m worried about, it’s the tiny faces looking to me to say “This is fun! This is great!”
I was talking to my cousin about all of these feelings . The struggle and the emotions that come with moving out of state and never feeling settled and she said this –
“We were not meant to stay put, we were meant to make footprints.”
Honestly, I’m scared. It’s scary. But she’s right and I have to find ways to enjoy this process just like I choose to do that in all of the other aspects of my life. If I can have natural childbirth and write novels and run a half marathon… I can move and find happiness in what scares me.