Don’t let the door hit you

This time last year, Susanne was mulling a job offer to move out to what we thought at the time was the West Coast. And what we thought at the time would be a cute little house in a quaint little town with lots of promise of new adventure and experiences. Also last year around now I was finally starting to recover from a surgery and a subsequent major infection. I was itching to get back to the office and sink my teeth into some projects.


our xmas eve abode

our xmas eve abode



We received, in fact, all of our wishes. Susanne took the job, the house sure is cute from the outside, the town is indeed quaint, and we’ve had the new experience of purchasing and installing snow chains. We’ve also sampled some local wines and cuisine, met some new people, had a fun trip cross-country, and seen a major natural wonder up front and close.

Before we left DC, Susanne defended her dissertation and earned her Ph.D., we introduced our families to each other, we got married (twice, in fact), and hosted a whole slew of memorable parties and get-togethers with friends. I at least felt like a successful person loved by many and complete with two ACLs in my knees.

To say this past fall has been a let down would be a large understatement. It’s hard to move anywhere, let alone on the other side of a continent. It’s challenging to walk away from a very secure, well paying job and try to plant stakes with people who don’t know you or your reputation. It’s even more difficult to establish a new home on one good leg, and then you notice that all of these frustrations are combining with each other in this minestrone soup way and you can’t tell which flavor is which anymore, or what is really bugging you. Susanne had to get up to speed on the school, the climate of the college, the students, the new digs, and the increasingly grumpy partner. We have been stressed. We have been searching for the things that can sustain us — getting to know people, exploring our new environment, reveling in the nice things about our new town — but we do get tired and weary.

Spring holds promise. I know now that any such promise will come attached to things I’d rather not have to encounter, but it will be there nonetheless. Nothing so far in this life of mine has gone according to any sort of plan. I’ve learned more by trying to adapt or meet a challenge than I have in attempting to set things up a certain way and ticking off my lists item by item. So I adapt.

I remember the evening of my wedding, dancing with my darling, and thinking about all of what was ahead of us. Not just for 2008, but for 2018, and 28 and 38. There will be so much, and a lot of it won’t be easy, and I know that is tritely put. I am ready for the good things in 2009. They don’t have to come to me, necessarily, I’ll try to make them happen. I do seem to love a good struggle. There must be a fulfilling, good job out there for me. There must be a way to make our circumstances work — if not for 20 years, then maybe a few, in this town of many waters. I resolve to be positive-focused and forward-looking. But those things I thought of last July that I thought I would experience this fall — they haven’t happened, and either I adjust to new expectations, or I push harder to make things happen. In any case, I’m going to approach Spring 2009 differently than I did this fall. With the sense of adventure I felt on my wedding evening. Because life is what it is, and I might as well find a way to enjoy it.

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Categories: transplanted, visiting


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