I’ve turned in my two-weeks notice at work, which means my life is my own again. Not to say that I am a slave to my job exactly, but that I was enslaved to secrecy for the past few months. And now I am free.
This past spring, as we were driving home from work, Eric and I had a conversation that began as a usual rant against his stressful job. I casually chimed in about how he was working too much and that it was killing him. We both talked about how there are things we are passionate about, but don’t have the time or energy for. The intensity grew as we came to the conclusion that the hectic life we live here in Virginia (5 miles from DC), is keeping us in a hamster wheel of stress, and causing us to consistently push what we want out of life to the back burner. And life is too short.
Eric suggested moving to Europe. Which surprised me.
I was surprised a second time when I found myself suggesting that maybe the change he was craving could be found closer to home. My home. Oklahoma.
Oklahoma was our long term plan. Eric has lived in the DC area his entire life, and he has always enjoyed Oklahoma when we visit my family there. It was the place we wanted to move to eventually, when the time felt right. But as we sat in our parked car in our assigned parking space, outside of our apartment building, we felt crowded and stifled. And just like that, the time felt right.
The past few months have been a time to say good bye, mentally and physically. Good bye to friendships and Eric’s family, our church family, our neighborhood, Trader Joe’s (don’t get me started), the National Mall (especially at night), Eastern Market, the bench next to the Potomac River where Eric proposed to me. It’s been a nostalgia-overload.
I moved to Washington, D.C. five years ago. I was all by myself, with two suitcases and nowhere to live. The things this city has taught me are things I could not have fathomed before I moved out here. That’s how growing works. But saying good bye to a city that feels like a character in your personal story: it’s not easy.
At the same time, the thought of going home is just the right thing. It’s just the right time, even though the parting is bittersweet.
In Oklahoma, we will have a house with a front porch and a back patio. A luxury nearly unimaginable at this point in our lives. To be able to step outside and breathe fresh air without needing a reason to do so sounds too good to be true. And also: why have we been depriving ourselves of so much fresh air? That sentence was saturated with metaphors.
The past five years of my life will always be meaningful and nothing short of life-changing for me. But right now, I am looking forward to the next chapter. I am looking forward to breathing.