Wednesday, November 15, 2006

An Unwelcome Move

I don't know what to say.

I've been dealing with the reality that we are moving, that I haven't been happy about it and therefore haven't been positive about the changes it will involve. Needless to say my husband is unhappy, I am unhappy, and the unknown lies ahead of us.

I am happy here. I moved here only one year ago, and before that, dealt with much turmoil in my existence. I imagine that the things that are good here (OC's school, our home, nice town, friends & family nearby) can only get worse if we change anything.

We fought for weeks and weeks in the late summer before we called a truce because we didn't have any concrete information about his job offer. We got the offer earlier this month; he negotiated it to be what he wanted, so he took it.

Now we are fighting about concrete things, like where to move and when: to the town he will work or a nearby, bigger town? Will he move before us - in January - and then my daughter and I moving at the end of the school year? Or is it better to move together? Should we rent or buy? Buy a dividable lot and live there temporarily while we do the partition and sell it for a profit? What about schools? What about security? What about finding a nice house and settling in? What about moving twice? Is there value in the things I want? What about value in choosing something because it makes life easier?

It's true that Life has made changes for me and I haven't liked them at first, then they turned out to be good. Like when I got laid off. I was at my very first professional graphic design job for two years before budget cuts forced me out and to decide (within a 48 hour deadline, mind you): bump someone with less seniority in another office and take their job, or be out of work myself. I chose to keep working because I had to. The transition was terrible.

My daughter was two at the time and in a daycare in my office building. She had been there since she was four months old, and I had access to visit her all day long, so I was able to nurse her and feel somewhat secure in being near her. Since it meant moving to another building, it meant being away from her physically like I never had before. My brother had been diagnosed with Leukemia the previous summer and had been in and out of remission. At the point of my layoff, his aggressive form of Leukemia had returned and he was a month away from dying, although I didn't know it at the time.

I felt pulled in more directions than I thought were possible. I needed to take care of my daughter; spend time with my family; stop at the hospital after work to visit my brother and then later my parent's house when he decided to move there to live out his final few weeks; drive the ridiculous 1.5 hours to my ridiculously far-away house; and learn and fit into a new job.

The new coworkers didn't want me there, as I was bumping someone out of their job completely and someone else down a level. I hated to do that, and I totally understood their feelings.

I nearly died from stress, guilt, grief, and self-loathing.

Anyway, it turned out that after a long transition time when they couldn't help but succumb to my charms, we formed a pretty tight work group. Not that it didn't take a while. We were Tech_Services, made up of two graphic designers and three GIS persons. All smart (-er than me), interesting, funny people. We started going to lunch together once a month. We talked a lot about travel, our families, funny stories, whatever. Three of us got married in that time. One of us had his kids leave for college. Several took amazing, unusual vacations. There was a lot to talk about, and it was fun, interesting, technical, and often challenging work.

It was a great job that I thought long and hard about leaving before I finally did this summer to stay at home with my daughter. I miss it very much. I never thought I would say that about that job the first year I was there. I am glad now to have time with my daughter now, and it was good that I stuck with it and let it grow to the point where it was good.

I sense a Life Lesson in there.

Stupid Universe with your stupid Life Lessons!

I am having such a hard time with this.

My husband will be a partial owner in his company's new satellite office, the base branch of which is growing rapidly. He will be a boss and manage projects and people rather than simply be an employee. He hopes to get to the point soon where he can delegate a lot of work so that he can work reasonable hours in order to spend more time with his family. He sees it as an investment in the future not only financially, but also in gaining more time to be with us. He is willing to put in a lot of hours up front to make the new office successful so we can all enjoy the fruits of that in all its forms. He is a hard working person, and his company is lucky to have him. He's trustworthy and ambitious, and he'll do a great job for them.

We're lucky to have him, too.

He's lucky, you're lucky, we're all LUCKY...HAA HAAA HAAA!!!! (That's a "Rocky Horror" reference for all of you non-cinephiles/weirdos.)

We're moving. That is what is happening. I am slowly accepting that and seeing the value in being more positive about it. There could be many good things.

Now if we could learn to treat each other more gently, to handle one another's insecurities carefully and not create so much distance, (Myself included. What? You thought I was faultless?) we might actually get through this (and maybe then I wouldn't cry so much).....


jen said...

my first time commenting and on such an important post...

you write with raw and lovely honesty. you have every reason to be scared because it sounds scary and hard. and you are more than allowed to be where you are right now.

and then the really wonderful thing is that this too shall pass. maybe not yet, but it will, and you'll be braver for the journey.

kerrianne said...

Firstly, thanks! so much for keeping us updated. I have been wondering how you were doing, and how the move was progressing.

You have every right to feel scared, babe, and to be uncertain. For what it's worth, I strongly believe you will all be stronger for the transition, albeit forced or wanted. I can't imagine how hard all of this must be, and I'll admit to being (selfish, and) admittedly bummed that you will most likely be gone before I get to visit you there (I'll be there in December. So, maybe? : ) ), but know that I'm here if you ever need an ear. Or a pair of eyes, as it were.

Hugs to you.

Anonymous said...

That must be so hard.

Not to mention, moving just sucks in general!

Kristin said...

Stupid Universe with your stupid Life Lessons! :-)

Things sound really tough right now... I will keep my fingers crossed that stuff begins to fall into place!

dodo said...

there's no way all this change is not going to be hard. the whole work/childcare/necessitated housemove place is somewhere I've been. The only thing that helped wa not pretending it wasn't going to be really hard. Even if there are positives to gain from it longer term, doesn't mean the interim is really hard. and there's no such thing as a perfect balances between the different imperatives.

you cry as much as you need, just keep talking talking talking through the shitty stuff without fogetting to notice any good things that might sneak up in increments

dodo said...

isn't hard, i meant. doesn't mean the interim isn't hard.

(and i've been living here just over two years, and still not really "moved in", still don't think of this as where I live, still haven't fully unpacked. So don't listen to me!!)