Monday, March 13, 2017

All Because She's Proud of Me

If no one ever took risks, Michelangelo would have painted the Sistine floor. -Neil Simon
I checked my mail this morning (apparently I forgot to do so on Saturday) and was pleasantly not-so-surprised to find a letter from a friend. The letter itself meant so much to me, but the most important words were, "I'm proud of you."
I don't hear this often, so after everything we've been through since we decided to move our family to another state, I couldn't help but smile and blink away a few tears.
I am the type of person who needs constant reassurance that I'm doing the right thing. So when Kevin and I made the decision to pack up our family and move 500 miles away from everything I've ever known, I was beyond uncertain, scared, excited, heartbroken. Completely and utterly overwhelmed.
Was I doing the right thing for my family? Would my mother hate me for taking her three grandbabies so far away from her? What if my grandparents get sick? Will Sebastian experience a culture shock, moving from a rather small mostly-white community to a very diverse suburb on the outskirts of a big city? Will I be able to find a job if I need to, in a place where I don't know a single soul? I've always had at least a connection or two whenever I started a new job "up home."
So many questions unanswered. No reassurance that I was doing the best thing. But I knew. Deep down I knew that this is what our family needed. The time had come when our income was lower than our expenses. So when Kevin was offered a job making more money in a community where the cost-of-living was so much less than what we were used to... I would have been stupid, not to mention a bad parent, to talk myself out of it.
Indeed I did try. When it came time to say goodbye to my closest friend. My grandfather, crying for the first time since I was small. My mom. My children's Mum Mum. Crying. Heartbroken. When I had to tell her to leave because I couldn't bear to see her falling to pieces any longer. Knowing it was all my fault. "Just go!"
I tried to talk myself out of it. Just stay. Unload the truck. Put the pictures back on the wall. Put the coffee maker back on the counter and brew a cup for mom. Tell her you can't do it. You can't live without her being any farther than a 30-minute drive away. You can't live without your best friend, just a couple towns away to be there for you whenever you need a quick escape from the walls of your own home. Don't do it. You don't have to do it.
But I did it. Despite the absolute fear of the unknown, I took the biggest leap of faith I have ever taken in my entire life, and fell. Over and over again I fell. But every time, I got back up. I hyperventilated. I cried. I had anxiety attack after anxiety attack. I yelled. I sobbed. I gave the silent treatment. I turned the radio on and sang away my sorrows.
And hear I am, sitting by my fireplace all alone while the littles are asleep, knowing that this journey to a better life is far from over. But, son of a bitch! I did it! I DID IT! I looked fear in the face and I flipped it the bird! I'd be lying if I said he didn't spit in my face and kick me while I was down, but I still told him to kiss my ass!
"I'm proud of you." I am proud of myself. I'm proud of my husband. God knows how crazy it must have been for him! To leave his job of ten years! To start over in a brand new place, so foreign and fast paced (the job, not the south). But he's doing it. He's doing it for us. We're doing it.
Life has been hard. But my God has it been so good. And now I know that I'm not always going to have reassurance. Every single person I love will not always agree with my decisions. And I don't "need" them to. Sure, I'm going to want it. But even when I can not see the top of the staircase, I will keep climbing.

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