Friday, October 5, 2012

Somewhere only we know...

I walked across an empty land
I knew its pathway like the back of my hand
I felt the earth beneath my feet
Sat by the river and it made me complete

How is it that you can wish and pray so hard for something for close to a year, and still not be ready to say goodbye?  I look around now and know that many of the things I am doing will be "the last time."

The last time I'll eat lunch with my co-workers at our favorite Mexican restaurant.
The last time I'll drive on a route so familiar I am almost certain I could do it with my eyes closed. (But, don't worry, I won't.)
The last time I'll run into old friends during a random Saturday shopping trip.
The last time I'll be able to wear a Cardinals' shirt without having to watch my back.

Leaving work was absolutely surreal.  I had a perpetual lump in my throat throughout the day.  A group of some of my favorite co-workers met downstairs during my final few minutes to walk me out of the building.  I walked ahead of them to the time clock as they slowly walked behind me.  I turned around to look at them once as we walked outside.
I didn't really need to do that.
I knew they were behind me all along.

I have been wondering when I would break down.  When the flood gates would open.  When the tears would never stop.  That moment was when our security gate closed behind me.  When I knew I could no longer get back in.  I don't think I will ever be able to imagine that moment without crying for as long as I live.

Recently, a friend gave me this quote and said it made her think of me.

Courage is the ability to let go of the familiar.

The gravity of what I'm doing has not really hit me until this week.  It's not only work that I'm leaving behind.  I'm leaving everything that I've known for the past 30 years.  It never really occurred to me that a life change of this magnitude would take a great deal of courage. And that's probably been a matter of not really accepting how BIG this is until just now.

I tried to talk as I fought back tears (not one of my strong points) in response to the quote and told her the reason why I've been able to keep going:

I am leaving behind a lot of what I love and everything that I know.
But, I'm finally getting a lot of things I love just as much.

A brand new city (one that I've always said I would love to live in.)
An even more incredible job than the one I just left (which I didn't even think was possible.)
A beautiful home that couldn't be more perfect if I dreamed it.
The ability to easily drive to see both sets of our respective families.
Living even closer to a whole slew of people we love very much and never get to see.

It is these things that have kept me going for the past 9 months (where at times, I really wasn't sure it was worth it.)  Call it courage, but really - it's just blind hope.
I've always said that in St. Louis, I feel as though I am True North.  You can plop be down in any part of the city and I can always find my way back home.  I'd like to think that, even in our new home, this will always remain true.  My husband gave me a card to commemorate our last day of our current situation.  In it, he thanked me for showing him what a great place St. Louis is to live.  But, how could it be any other way?

This was the city that saw me grow up.
The city that saw me graduate from high school and then college.
The one that saw me meet the man of my dreams and eventually marry him.
It's the city where my son was born.
It's where my heart and soul are.
It has some of the best (albeit, not the most healthy) food in the world.
And I'll throw down with anyone who wants to disagree with me that it has the best beer in the world too.

We went to our church for the last time this Sunday.  The priest that said Mass was the priest that married us (four years ago yesterday) and baptized TIH (two years ago next week.)  I've known him for over 15 years.  In his blessing, he reminded us that we will always have a home there.
I know he's right.

This place is a part of me.  It is who I am and who I will always be.
But, I'm still excited to see the version of myself that I become with the flair of a new city.
And that?  Takes no courage at all.

This could be the end of everything
So why don't we go
Somewhere only we know...


  1. Definitely thinking of you today!! And while I didn't feel nearly as much for my previous town as you do to St. Louis (not even close :))... I still felt some of the same emotions regarding entering such life changes and somewhat of the unknown. You are so normal (not that it makes it easier :)). And you will love your new city... and hopefully we can even get a slice and a beer there together sometime! Thinking of you.

  2. The Lou (and I) will miss you. Good luck in the Windy. DO NOT become a Cubs fan.

  3. This is just beautiful. You are going to do amazing things no matter where you are, lady, and I'm so excited you'll be closer to me in this next stop along your life's journey.

  4. Welcome to the Second City!


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