Our moving plans were finalized once I mailed our Brooklyn landlord a check in order to secure our room for July. Handing that tightly sealed envelope to the US Postal worker was, for me, the most gut churning part of our decision up until that point. All the hours of talking, discussion, and preparation were now solidified in this one envelope. My heart was racing as I stumbled out of the post office. Is this really happening?? I was feeling so nervous, scared, a bit guilty.. I sat on the curb staring at the ground waiting for Scott to come get me. A red car pulled up in front of me which I ignored, as I was crouched too low to the ground to see the driver. I didn’t recognize the car until Scott called out to me. Frightened, I jumped up remembering Scott sold his beautiful, black Elantra stick shift for this automatic so that I could drive to my new job in Brooklyn. Feeling more guilt stricken, I slowly peeled myself off the ground, opened the car door, and slinked in the passenger’s side. For the first time since we made this decision, we both gave each other the same look at the same time. A look of calm, but genuine look of uncertainty.
Up until this point I was living in a honeymoon phase, day dreaming about how amazing New York was going to be for us. Scott was worried about realistic things, like finding work, paying our astronomical rent, bills.. as I was living in the clouds, adamantly answering every question with “Everything will work itself out.” I landed a great job teaching art at a charter school and I knew that my paychecks could cover us both while he found a job and I knew he would find a great job. That was my attitude: I just knew. As naive as I was about what living in New York would be like, I wore some kind of ill fitting, know-it-all mask walking around expecting an unshakeable certainty from everyone, especially Scott. I was upset that he wasn’t filled with the same level of wonder and awe that I was about moving to the most magical city on Earth. I was so completely detached from everything, floating on my cloud, and all I really knew was that everything would work itself out…
But now, in this moment, all my emotions fled from my body except a small strand of doubt which laced my insides. I began to avoid talking about the move and snuck into the background of conversation. My outlook began to shift. I was doubting and questioning everything which should have been done before, at the crucial moments of our decision making. I mistook my extreme stubbornness for confidence.. and was left with a hint of shame wrapped around my words. What was wrong with me?? I didn’t feel like myself.. This was my dream and although I was thrilled that it was coming true, I felt guilty about all that Scott had to give up for me. I hadn’t really taken the time to process everything.. He literally gave up everything for me to reach my dream and words will never express my love, appreciation, and gratitude. All of a sudden I understood the gravity of this decision and how much it was going to change our lives. I fell off the cloud and landed on the ground with a thud finally able to see all the daunting obstacles that were in place around us. We were giving up everything familiar to relocate into the unknown.. and now my heart was in the dark.
The next day Scott’s family and I visited San Diego for a week to visit Scott’s brother and right when we got back, we would pack up the car and head off to our new home. I had never been to San Diego and it was the most beautiful place I had ever seen. The architecture, the vegetation, the people. Time seemed to slow down. Everything was peaceful, harmonious, calm, the complete opposite of New York. So I knew this trip would be hard for Scott. Visiting a place where he fantasized about living and having to leave it and settle for the opposite extreme. The thought of moving from Pittsburgh was going to be enough of a culture shock, but visiting such a paradise then having to leave it for the fast paced rough, dirty streets of New York was even too much for me!
Our last evening in San Diego was spent on a gorgeous beach. I sat on the shore alone while the rest of Scott’s family began walking along the pier. Scott dragged his feet behind, watching me frozen like a statue in the sand. He could sense my fears mounting; they were crushing me. He took off his shoes, slowly walked towards me, and sat beside me in silence. There were no more words. Everything had already been said. He turned his head to look at me and held my hand. After a few moments an intensity hit me in the gut and I lost my breath; I quickly stood up and bolted for the water. All my emotions bubbled up to the breaking point and I needed a release. His eyes filled with tears as he watched me dive through the waves. He joined me in the water and for the first time in a month we laughed and played together, letting the ocean cradle us and literally wash away our tears.
The truth was, we were young and scared about the future, as everyone is, but the instant we plunged both feet into the water together we began to trust, knowing that everything would work itself out.
One foot underwater and one stuck in the sand
My body uneasy your breath, still in my hand
No more surprises, we realize that we’re skin through
There’s a hurricane in my mind, but a stillness in the view
The sun it sprinkles glitter on the river, shining gold
And giving wings to pretty little skipping things
But they just end up sinking like stones
Don’t know what we’re chasing or what kind of money we’ll be making
But as long as I’m with you
We’ll keep one foot under water and one in clear view
Oh but this line we drew in the sand no we never had crossed it before
Keeping our minds too clear above land, put your hand in mine before we cross
Or even look to find out where we are
Trying to climb mountains, drinking from fountains
While we’re just looking at the stars..