To use the words of the immortal Samwise Gamgee, Well, I’m back. Back here on the blog, and back in Minnesota.
Only, the thing is, I’m not quite all-the-way back in Minnesota yet. Physically and geographically, yes, I am of course in Minnesota. But mentally...emotionally...spiritually...grammatically?...I’m in a weird middle place right now.
Let me explain. Dave and I drove out here, but we didn’t bring all of our stuff. Most of our furniture and belongings are still in our house in New York. We weren’t sure if our house would sell before we moved, so we had planned on leaving it “staged” for prospective buyers. But then, PRAISE THE LORD, we got an offer right before we left! Which was great (seriously, SO SO GREAT), except it was too late to arrange to move everything else, so Dave’s going back in a few weeks to oversee the movers. All this to say, we only have the stuff that would fit in our two cars, so mostly just clothes.
And, the stuff that we do have is not in our own new place, but my parents’ house. This is because my parents graciously offered to let us live with them until our house sold and we could buy one here in Minnesota, which was SO, SO GREAT of them, too. But it does mean that we’re living in a place that we know is only temporary. (Also, fyi, if you’ve never moved back in with your parents as a married adult, let me tell you, it feels a little weird. The last time I lived here when I wasn’t on a vacation of some kind was high school. A lot has changed since then, to put it mildly, and it’s an adjustment for everyone. Lucky for me, my parents are champs; I just have to get my own neuroses under control.)
On top of all that, while Dave is starting his new job, I’m still figuring out what I want to do, partially because some of that will depend on where we end up living in the Twin Cities. And, we’re still church-hunting.
All of these things mean that even though I’m here, I don’t feel very settled yet. We’re in the already-but-not-yet of our time in Minnesota, so to speak. Everyone told us to let them know how we were doing once we’re settled, and I’ve found myself wondering exactly when that will be. It kind of feels like we’re in a holding pattern until we find a house.
Not being settled is very hard for me, as people who saw my transition to New York know, and last week, I didn’t think I could handle it. So, I felt pretty anxious about finding a house ASAP. When my mom and I drove around different neighborhoods to look at houses we’d found online, though, nothing seemed promising, and I despaired that we’d ever find anything. And the reason why I felt so strongly, why it was despair instead of mild disappointment, was because in my head no house=not settled, and perpetual time in the middle place. It was all too much.
But now, a week later, I’m feeling differently about this middle place. Instead of feeling like an unpleasant emotional purgatory before our heavenly “real life” in Minnesota begins, it feels like a needed respite before we start the next chapter of our lives. And I’m realizing more and more that it’s exactly what we need right now. Unfortunately, part of that realization came in the form of a panic attack at the thought of visiting a new church. On the plus side, though, that anxiety gave me concrete evidence that I’m not ready to dive in deep just yet, meet a lot of new people, build our new community, fill our lives with groups and activities. Right now our calendar is breathtakingly bare, and it’s amazing. As Anna wrote about last week, not being busy in the normal sense can feel a little awkward or weird, but it’s also very good. And it’s especially good because we have enough transition happening right now to exhaust our mental capacities as it is. This whole move has been more emotionally taxing, in good ways and in bad, than I ever thought it would be, and it’s been a lot to process.
Having this respite is also good because it’s different than how we handled our last big transition: my moving to New York when Dave and I got married. We both agree now that we were involved in too much, too soon, and it would have been much better if we had stepped back and just focused on our marriage and, for me, being in New York in general. I know there are times in which to get acclimated to a new situation, it’s best to just plunge in (aka, the beginning of college), but that wasn’t one of them, and it isn’t now, either. We’ll get there, and we’ll add things to our life when we’re ready.
And of course, the irony is that once I took the pressure off myself to be adjusted and settled ASAP, I felt much better and more calm about everything.
So here’s to the middle, and, in the immortal words of Jimmy Eat World in their song by that name, everything will be just fine.