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On Taking a Knee

Originally written November 27, 2011.

I don’t know where to start, really. If I start at the beginning, I start with everything we tried for, were turned down for and were unwilling to take.

D might say the beginning was deciding to go to law school instead of pursuing something else. I might say the beginning was taking a job that, I realized too late, wasn’t a great fit for me.

However, it is D who has shouldered the most disappointment in the last year. To his credit, he has taken every one of these instances with dignity.

In between the disappointments, there has been hoping, wishing and a boat load of expectations. There has been new experiences, floating apart and coming together.

Most significantly, there has been a retooling of attitudes and recalibrating of personal and family goals. For me, there has been learning to say yes instead of no, and acknowledging the things that are good not just for the present us, but the us we want to be.

So, yeah. I initially shut the door — slammed it shut, really — on the idea of this move. The first conversation lasted a couple of minutes. I got that choked up, elephant-standing-on-chest feeling that I always do when it comes to something big.

But I slept on it. Did some research. Realized how much we’d get to see our families (and that I was excited about that) and what it could mean to become a part of a small yet innovative community.

And, as it turned out, D seemed genuinely interested in the job — which at this point in our professional lives, is really tantamount to none.

As the interview process began, I found myself getting excited about the possibilities — we both did. I had to continually put my hopes in check and I was so superstitious that I didn’t tell anyone.

In the interim, we discussed what would happen if the job didn’t pan out. I rewrote my resume and hired someone to redesign my portfolio. We’d stay in DC until something better came up. We’d get a dog because we have f’ing wanted one forever. We’d consider moving to a bigger space possibly outside the city so that we were settled by the time we wanted to start a family.

The suburban scenario didn’t fit our picture of ideal, but frankly, it felt like it was time to work with whatever we had to construct the happiest, most fulfilling lives we could.

While we were on vacation, D got his offer. He had beat out four other candidates and the runner up was “devastated” not to land the position. It was his 32nd birthday and were on a rooftop in Barcelona saying, “Holy shit. We’re moving to Omaha.

You might not have expected that reaction after all the hoping. And we were born and raised in the Midwest, afterall. And we can tell by the reactions of east coasters that moving back to the Midwest does not appear sexy or risky — it appears like we are taking a knee.

But DC is home for us. It’s where we’ve had successful careers and built great friendships. As our friend Tim said the other night, “I totally get it. Between Colorado and DC, you’ve had the opportunities and advantages of a bigger city and living in a small Midwestern city isn’t familiar anymore.”

So in the moments of sheer oh-shit-I-quit-my-job-and-we’re-leaving panic, that is what I think most about. How life would be if we stayed. And how fun it will be to do something new with D. You don’t have to be married to him to know he’s a great partner.



Originally written October 21, 2011.

I have lived most of my life on a theory I like to call “Planning for the Unknowable.”

Planning for the Unknowable means that I exert an embarrassing amount of energy exploring scenarios for any significant event or life change so that when the moment is upon me, I will be equipped to handle it.

I would say that Planning for the Unknowable has about a 50 percent success rate, which means it’s worth putting myself through. (D would place the success rate at about 10 percent).

This is due in large part to me stressing about something for three days and then hitting him like a battering ram with anxiety.

This morning it occurred to me that I have actually failed to employ Planning for the Unknowable to the thing I’ve spent the most time thinking about: How to do it all.

What falls under that bucket you ask? Allow me to identify them:

  • Being successful at a job that doesn’t make me crazy
  • Finding a house that is move-in ready (by my standards) in a neighborhood we love
  • Getting pregnant whenever I feel like it
  • Not getting stretch marks
  • Crossfitting through pregnancy and right away after (You know, because my body will look just like it does now, later)
  • A marriage that effortlessly improves with kids an time instead of gets harder
  • Parents that figure out how to get together to see us when we come home

This morning I also accepted that, in reality, like, none of these things will happen — at least not concurrently. OK, fine. But what’s my best shot at it? I wondered.

Editor’s Note: I’ve seen a therapist since this writing. The shit works. Highly recommend!

Stuff I Missed about the U.S. While I Was in Europe

I’m publishing some old draft posts. Because why not? Originally written October 3, 2011.

I’m guilty of making Europe out to be way cooler than the U.S. On Sunday, I was eager to get home and jotted down a couple things that I’d been missing about the States.

  • Toilet seat covers. Actually, I missed toilet seats, too.
  • Meals centered around something other than bread. How much can a person eat in a day?
  • Roads without speed bumps and traffic circles. I’m pretty sure the road to hell is paved with those.
  • Showers with a full glass door. The partial door business is incredibly inefficient and regardless of how I position the shower head, water ends up all over the floor.
  • Swimsuits.┬áCall me an uncool American, but I don’t need to see that much of a lady, and I never need to see a man’s fruit basket.
There’s two sides to every coin, though. When I got to work this morning and scrolled through Twitter, I saw this and immediately wanted to go back to Spain where lunch lasts three hours and hippies make giant bubbles in the squares.

This and That

Don’t worry; I’m still here. Just been busy with life stuff. Like:

  • My mom moved away. And in with Steve. (I guess I didn’t tell you he was a long-distance lover, did I?)
  • My dad met someone (!).
  • My husband took a certain aptitude test and kicked major tail. More on that in the coming months.
  • I’ve been CrossFit training. And yes, I have totally consumed the Kool-Aid. Not sure you’ll ever see me in the CrossFit games (click that link and prepare to be inspired), but it’s super motivational. As is deadlifting next to a bunch of dudes doing bicep curls.

Honeymoon Planning

Happening regularly at our house lately:

I can’t stop laughing.

Thirty Minutes

My parents are using the afternoon to frantically pack up our house so that they can hand over the keys to new owners tomorrow. (No, my mom hasn’t really been able to get it together before today and yes, my dad has offered his assistance many times prior to today.)

It’s overcast and chilly at home today, and according to reports, the items that haven’t been sold from our garage are getting the heave-ho given there’s not time to save everything. I’m picturing this happening in our backyard where the lilac bush has begun to wilt as it can do about this time of year.

I’m going to give myself a solid 30 minutes to feel sad about this and then go back to feeling like the most fortunate kid on the block.

Wallowing soundtrack:

Vandaveer, Beverly Cleary’s 115th Dream

Bon Iver, Blood Bank (footage from the sunrise show at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery)

(Suggestions are open for a post-wallow soundtrack.)

New Stuff

Did you notice? I read everyone’s blogs via RSS, so I have no idea when site features change. Which kind of make mine moot…right?