Yep the title is as transparent as it gets. My husband and I are truly moving to upstate New York, and while it was wildly unexpected, it feels like the sanest decision we’ve ever made. Which is saying a lot if you know me personally, and know all the struggle we went through to navigate the world of visas and international school admissions. We even made a special trip back to the states over the summer, as you have to apply outside of the UK to then hopefully be approved and let back in!
The plan was to try and stay in Cambridge, where we have made a home for the last 3 years, for 3 more. Justin was accepted into University here and I could continue to work for myself as a hairdresser at a high end salon in the city center where I’ve built up a remarkable clientele. After moving around with the military for the past 8 years, we thought settling in somewhere would be nice for a change. We came back from our 5 week stint back home in Arizona, where we patiently awaited our results, with visas in tow. We signed a lease on a flat, bought a new car for Justin to commute, and tried our best to get back into the swing of things in our familiar english life.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but ever since arriving back from the states, we never quite found our rhythm we seemed to have had before…
Looking back with what I know now, I can admit this unsettledness. I was hoping that when Justin started school and found his routine it would all balance out again. Instead, he came home from his final day of induction week and immediately I could sense his heavy heart, and I knew that all I could do for him was listen and to let him tell me what he needed.
That conversation was to this day one of the most open and honest discussions I have ever had. They say one of the keys to a healthy marriage is communication, and they’re right. What they don’t tell you is how damn hard it is to communicate and to be open and honest even with yourself, let alone with others. This is a life skill that needs to be cultivated and practiced. Luckily we have been practicing this longer than most people our age in a relationship and we have gotten better and better at it.
The decision to go back to the states was down to a few different factors, the main one being that Justin has been accepted into one of the most prestigious nutrition & dietetics programs in the nation at Syracuse University. And while it makes me so extremely happy to see him happy and to go to his top choice school, the reason why it was the right choice was ultimately because we both were on the same page by the end of our conversation.
So in the last two weeks we have sold the car, put the apartment up for rent, told my job I’ll be leaving by the end of the year, and packed and shipped most of our household goods. Justin is already back in the states as of yesterday, staying with his parents and he’ll be working out there to save up while I’ve stayed behind for a couple months to take care of my clients. In the past, these sort of monumental changes would have shaken me to my very core. They would have paralyzed me into anxiety, depression and fear. But I have learned from my experiences, and once you start growing it becomes almost impossible to go back to the previous version of yourself, especially if you choose to continue to grow. I choose to be excited about all the unknown possibilities that are coming our way.
For now, I’ll be focusing on one day at a time and the little things I can control like staying mindful, a tool that I can use now more than ever. Since it’s just me at the house I have all this extra time on my hands that at first left me feeling a little lonely, but I want to turn it in to an opportunity to do more of the stuff I like but make very little time for like my writing (hence this new blog post), reading some really good books, developing my yoga practice, and spending some good quality time with my friends before I go back home.
I’ve also had a lot of time to practice gratitude, and that in itself is a cure for any sadness or loneliness. I have so much to be thankful for, one of the biggest reasons I have chosen to stay behind is to be able to stay in my routine that I have made here for myself with balancing work with recovery and life with M.E. Routine is a big factor for me and my energy, and while I know the move will effect my health, I can do my best to minimize the stress I put on myself.
We all have stress in our lives, and if we don’t find ways to deal with it there can be serious effects on our health. So do me a favor and stop putting so much pressure on yourself, because you are doing so much better than you think you are. I would love to hear any feedback about stress, pressure, life changes or anything else you’d like to share in the comments below. I’ll keep you guys posted over the next few weeks on my bachelorette pad life 🙂