One year ago, I was six weeks pregnant. I was turning in my two-weeks notice at work, and starting to think about packing up our tiny little apartment, five miles outside Washington, DC.
I don’t do well keeping secrets. I can keep yours like a locked safe and a lost key, but my own secrets rattle around inside of me, making me feel a little dishonest. At work, my boss knew I was moving. She even knew I was pregnant. But the rest of my coworkers thought I was going to be around to help plan the fall company picnic, of which I was on the committee.
“Yes, I’ll be in charge of that,” I told the committee director, knowing full well I would be long gone and several states away by the time I was expected to act on my promises.
When I turned in my two-weeks-notice I apologized to the people who were counting on me. At the same moment, I was overwhelmed by a wave of utter and complete apathy. I felt like a caged bird being set free, and it was suddenly clear that the cage wasn’t so great after all. One of my coworkers cheered me on, and told me he was so happy for us, that we were getting out of “this place”. He didn’t mean work, he meant the DC area.
DC can feel like a rat race sometimes. There was so much I loved about the city (I did choose to move there, after all), but so much that was causing major stress in our lives. Eric and I both knew it was time to move on.
Leaving felt exactly like reading the final pages of a lengthy, beloved book. It ends at just the right moment, but leaves you with a small ache in your chest, wishing for a little bit more. But a good writer knows it’s not always best to give you exactly what you want.
I said goodbye to the girl inside me who moved to DC at the baby age of twenty-two, and wondered at the next chapter laying out before me. And with what feels like a snap of my fingers, here it is, one year later.
And I can say this: it’s been a good year. Not always easy, but good. One thing about coming home is that you gain a perspective you didn’t have before. Things that I once took for granted are now more appreciated.
From here, the goals and dreams we have for our family look more attainable. New chapters can be scary, but if the past few years have taught me anything, it’s that change isn’t as scary as it seems. You just have to keep on keepin’ on.