Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Time flies, even if I don't anymore....

Ten years ago I sat outside on the sidewalk with my 4 year old daughter coloring, while the movers loaded up the townhouse we were renting at the time. Connor was running around the playground saying goodbye to the few kids there were in the neighborhood and all I could do was wonder if I'd truly lost my mind.

I was in the midst of a very stressful period in my life, wading through the depths of depression and barely functioning as an adult much less a mother. I was surfing the internet late one night when I stumbled upon a job opening in a land far, far away. A few keystrokes later, I had a new job, a new house and a short timeline. Never a fan of change and certainly not known for risk taking, I immediately regretted the impulsive (some may say manic) decision. I stayed awake nights trying to figure out how to take it all back. What was I thinking? I can't do this. Had I lost my mind? Maybe I was the one who needed psychiatric help...

As bad as I was with change, I was worse with showing emotion. I could not be vulnerable. I could not let the world know I had lost all control. I marched on, nauseous and doubtful through those last days in my"comfort zone." The girls who had held me together during the darkest times, the ones I spent all those nights with while we tended not only to the needs of our sweet preemie patients but to each other as well, those were the girls I couldn't bear to face. The ones that knew me well enough to see through the facade and realize I was horrified by this decision. The ones I didn't even say goodbye to. The ones that haunt me to this day. My only regret now is that I left without saying goodbye to some very important people, not because I didn't care but because I cared so much.

It was a long drive alone with two young kids. We arrived in Charlotte to our new home (rented simply based on what I could see online) before the moving truck, before utilities were turned on... that first night we spent at the red roof inn, eating hardees while Connor raved over and over about all the trees! He'd "never seen so much green!!"

Now, here I am 10 years wiser. It wasn't easy those first few years. That first neighborhood offered new friendships and heartbreak at the same time. We moved several times after that and experienced big changes in our family life. I never quite understood why I felt so drawn to this particular place, this particular job, until I was coerced into attending a St. Patrick's Day party with coworkers and friends where I met the man who would change our lives for the better.

Did I say I don't like change? It wasn't easy to let someone new in. It wasn't easy to allow myself to be vulnerable again. It was worse to think my kids were vulnerable now too. I didn't make it easy for Jeff Hill, lucky for me he doesn't take no for an answer.  So many things seem to have changed over the years and yet I've never been more "me". I've never been more satisfied, more comfortable.

Charlotte, you've been good to me. Thanks for taking me in and showing me how good life can be.
Bring on the next 10 years!!!