We made it!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Do you ever think back on a time in your life and 'I don't know how we made it' fills your mind and overwhelms you? Even though it's over, the anxiety and the struggles and the fear from those moments still haunt you? I think I will always feel that way when I look at this picture. We're here. . . in our home. . . in this city I've dreamt of since I was a little girl and I still can't wrap my mind around it. I still can't shake the cloud that's been following us around the last few months. Through the trials and uncertainty and basically just loss of our lives as knew them, we were all a little battered and broken down and now I sit here and think 'what now?' And I know the answer, but the question still remains because the answer is so broad, so uncertain. We dream bigger. We explore. We try to forget about the things that have always been taken care of no matter how much worrying was done about them like money and jobs and debt. We love. We seek beauty. We find joy in unexpected places. We build relationships. Building a new life is beautiful and exciting and overwhelming and nerve wracking all at the same time. I find myself thinking thoughts I haven't had since high school like 'What if I can't find any friends?' Then I realize I'm just a mess, a grown woman worrying about making friends.

It's been pretty quiet around here over the last few weeks and even after the move was finished, we were all busy just living - cooking dinner together, watching movies, unpacking boxes, all the things we haven't had time to do in months - and it felt good. This whole process has been sort of unreal. When this idea entered our minds, Alex and I looked at each other like, "You realize we're crazy, right?" We had just bought a house. Albuquerque was finally starting to feel like home. It wasn't just the two of us anymore - we had a baby. We were comfortable and it was nice, but I think it scared the hell out of us too. For as long as I can remember, we've strayed away from anything resembling the American dream and then without any warning we backed ourselves into a life that felt exactly like what we said we had never wanted. So we threw this dream out into the universe with doubtful thoughts like 'this is going to take a miracle' we took it step by step, day by day wondering when the door would shut and tell us to just go home, but it never did. Every prayer was answered, every problem was solved and the entire time we had no idea what was going on, we had no control over any situation, which is why I'm baffled when I wake up and this is our reality now. A pang of sadness hit me like it always used to as a camera panned over New York City on a TV show we were watching last night and it stopped me in my tracks - we made it. That's in my backyard. That's a subway ride away. New York City is our home. It isn't a lost or waiting dream anymore.

So a new chapter for our family has begun. We drove into the city on Wednesday (04.09.2014) to shouts of 'NEW YORT! OUW HOUWSE!' from the backseat. Ev was so happy to have some resemblance of a normal life back. I held the hand of the man next to me who has driven us to every new home over the last five years and we just smiled an exhausted smile. It's all we could do. It took all the strength left in us to unload the small trailer and pull our things up to our third floor apartment. Even after getting rid of at least 75% of our things, we're still finding things we don't need as we unpack. After hauling it across the entire country and letting it sit in storage for three months, some things just don't seem as important as when we packed them away. When we were leaving Albuquerque, I remember standing in our house with boxes of things all around me at 2:30 in the morning and looking up to Alex in the doorway with a defeated look on his face - 'I'm sorry babe, nothing else will fit.' So we spent hours whittling it all down, sitting cross legged in the floor pouring over each box, examining the contents and searching ourselves for some sort of comforting thought to make it easier. We worked hard for what we had - we didn't want to just give it away, which is selfish in retrospect. As we pared down our belongings, I'm confident God was whittling down the last hold we had on things in our life. So I prayed what probably seems like a ridiculous prayer to most people. I prayed for God to send the right people into the right place to find these things we'd worked hard for. I prayed it wouldn't all end up in the trash. I prayed it would all bless someone out there who needed these things but couldn't afford them any other way. I thought that I would leave that house uneasy, but I haven't felt that at peace in years and as we unpacked our things into this apartment, I could think of very few things we left behind that I wanted back.

The next morning, after we had moved into the apartment, we all sat on the floor and ate leftover pizza for breakfast and headed off to IKEA. We bought a few things we needed and it felt good to start making this place a home and talking about plans, but I started to feel anxious at the same time. It's so easy for me to let covetousness creep into my heart and to want what we can't afford, so I'm trying to hold onto this experience we had of simplifying our things and remind myself that things are just things. We want to make this place a home because we haven't done that in any other place we've lived and that will require some buying, of course. And I have desires like every other woman that all boil down to beautifying our life through furniture and clothes - it's what women were made to do, but whatever we bring into this home I want to be sure to hold onto it loosely.

We sort of have a track record of doing things unconventionally, so it's no surprise that we've been met with questions of why and how and 'don't you want to give your kid a normal life,' but I don't have the answer. It's as simple as the fact that we couldn't imagine living any other way. We want to live simple lives, travel more, actually accomplish dreams, and give our child experiences over things; in a city of consumerism and busy lives, people just don't see how these line up, but we do. We want to look at life and not ask what is the next thing we can buy, but what is the next thing we can do, the next place we can go? We want to start focusing on things in our family that have long been crowded out and ignored. We want to have time to sit down and breathe, picnic in the park together, visit museums and not be too exhausted to even enjoy ourselves, and find time to go to the beach and just soak up the sun. Life is beautiful and thrilling and worth living even without all the stuff and I want that to resonate with my daughter through out her whole childhood. I really think that the idea of the American dream is a trap - it's so luring and makes you think you're in control, but you're really just spending your life looking for something you'll never find. You'll never have enough. You'll never be happy enough. Your life will never be perfect. Once we came to this realization, life became a lot more fun to live. It became more about adventures and less about vacations, more about doing the things that we love to do and less about job promotions and salaries, more about relationships and less about filling our time and life with things. Life is short. Here's to more adventures and a new beginning for our family! Let's do this.

4 comments:

  1. This was a wonderful post to read this morning! The picture of you three is great!

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  2. Beautifully written, as always. Especially love the part about the American Dream being a trap, you nailed it!

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  3. " I really think that the idea of the American dream is a trap - it's so luring and makes you think you're in control, but you're really just spending your life looking for something you'll never find. You'll never have enough. You'll never be happy enough. Your life will never be perfect. Once we came to this realization, life became a lot more fun to live. It became more about adventures and less about vacations, more about doing the things that we love to do and less about job promotions and salaries, more about relationships and less about filling our time and life with things. Life is short. Here's to more adventures and a new beginning for our family!"

    LOVE that part - it's so true. Thank you for the reminder! As we get ready to welcome our newest member to our family I really want to strive to live in the moment - the life God has created for us. We only get one of them.

    Stopping by from the blog hop!

    Tiffany @ craftingafairytale.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Something beautiful happens in pregnancy that makes all your flaws come to the surface and gives you a fresh perspective and a new desire to accomplish goals. I really love that.

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