We made it to Wheaton! We are alive and well and a little cold, but that is what you get when you move to Illinois in February.
Given my track record of terrible transitioning, this move went far better than I ever could have anticipated. I think having a gigantic road trip in between leaving California and arriving in Illinois helped--I was able to process leaving while floating along in the la-la land of vacation instead of going into our new life right away.
And what a vacation it was: sixteen days, fourteen states, overnight stays in eleven cities, stayed with six wonderful families, two AirBnBs, three junior ranger badges, two mardi gras parades, and one family wedding. I will probably write a whole post about our many adventures on the road.
Then we made it to Wheaton, and things have been going great. The house we are staying in is so lovely. It has three bedrooms and one bathroom, a beautifully furnished family room, a DISHWASHER (glory be!), a two-car garage, a washer and dryer, a gas stove, heat, space for a garden, a basketball hoop, a giant basement for all of our stuff, and located conveniently in walking distance from the church. Who could ask for anything more?
The moving process itself went smoothly. I bemoaned how awful packing up was, but unpacking was pretty delightful. Our pod-thing came on Tuesday and was delivered by three guys who stayed to help us unload. We also had the help of the pastor, his wife, and four other men from the church. We had the whole thing unloaded in under fifteen minutes. Then we had the fun of unpacking all the boxes. After that sorting and home-finding and our record time of moving in I’m feeling much better about my possessions again.
People from the church not only came to help us move; they have been extremely welcoming in every possible way. There were frozen meals in our freezer, gift cards to local restaurants, our house was spotless, people have been excited to meet us, and have already started inviting us to their homes. It has been such a blessing to come to such a hospitable of a church. We are very excited to get to know everyone better!
I’ve been feeling calm, which has been great. To make up for it, I have been experiencing transition anxiety in my sleep. The night before we saw the house I dreamed that it was infested by giant cockroaches and one very large possum, and Andy was not nearly upset enough about that possum. The night after we moved in I dreamed that I was having a panic attack while I was organizing the closets (and I think I might have had an actual panic attack). The next night I dreamed that there was burglar in the house that I ran into while I was home alone. Those dreams haven’t been fun, but it might be progress that I have moved my anxiety to my sleep. Or it might be that I am in such denial that my brain has to process while I’m unconscious. Difficult to say.
I do know for sure that one thing that has helped this transition tremendously is the fact that I am moving with Andy. It’s so much better to have someone to move with. Really, he makes everything better. Other constants that have kept me stable: my pinterest, Jane the Virgin (although we don’t have wifi yet so we can’t watch Netflix, which has probably been the toughest part of this whole process), the podcasts we listened to on our journey, crazy facebook messages from my sisters, the fact that our California friends and family are a phone call or e-mail or chat away. So many things change, I’m so thankful for the things that stay the same.