Hello all -
Sheesh - I'm only to number six?!
6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?
My first thought for this post was going to be my wreck, of course.
But to be fair I've talked way too much about that already.
So, instead -
I'm going to have to go with moving to Salina.
Let me start from the beginning -
Matt and I met in Lawrence back in '06. We worked together at Mr. Goodcents on Kasold while we were both attending KU. When I first started there I was dating someone else.
We eventually grew apart and I set my sights on Matthew.
We started dating at the end of October and the rest is history.
I don't remember the exact day when Matt told me that his plans after college were to move back to Salina and work with his Dad to learn the business. This leads me to believe that I was both young and stupid.
Why? Because if I wouldn't have been either of those things, I would have remembered that day as the day that changed the rest of my life. I would have thought about how nothing will ever be the same. If I wanted to be with Matt, I would have to move there, too.
Leave my family.
And my friends.
My whole life would be different.
So yeah, I was young and stupid.
The day finally came in May of 2008 when Matt graduated and we both moved out of Lawrence. I still hadn't graduated so I stayed behind in Topeka with my parents.
That summer with Matt in Salina and me in Topeka, our relationship was tested to the max. I was constantly throwing fits over the phone; bitching that I didn't want to move anywhere, let alone to a place I've never even visited before.
But it was a worthless effort. There was no changing his mind - and for good reason.
It was a perfectly rational reason for him to return to his hometown. A great step toward us to starting our life together.
That doesn't mean I didn't go kicking and screaming.
I think - scratch that, I know - the hardest part was leaving my family behind. You've probably caught on by now that we're all very close. My sister and I are a measly 18-months apart in age. Best friends forever [quite literally]. My parents - well, I've already explained that. And my brother, still in middle school - I was going to miss out on way more of his glory years than I cared to.
And yeah, Salina is just a hop/skip/jump away from Topeka [about an hour and 45 minutes to my parents house]. Sounds like nothing, right?
Not to me.
It was everything.
Thankfully I have amazing in-laws [even at the time, when to me they were still just Matt's parents] and they took good care of me, putting up with my overall bitterness regarding the entire situation.
When we first moved there they graciously let us stay at their house. Then we bought our first house. We slowly fixed it up and made it our own.
And when I was having a bad week, my sis & Erin came to the rescue and surprised me with a visit.
My family visited constantly and I quickly memorized the mile markers & exits on my visits to Topeka & back.
At first I struggled most with not having any friends. It's really difficult to find people your own age, especially when you aren't in school.
So, instead of sulking I joined boards, social groups, women's groups - you name it, I tried it.
and I'm talking watching concrete dry slow -
I began making friends.
The boards I joined accepted me with incredible kindness.
The social networking groups were very welcoming.
I even tried switching jobs hoping to find my own way.
And I adore the people I have come to know here. They are the most amazing, kind-hearted people I have ever met. If it weren't for them and my in-laws, my nerves would not have survived this move. Luckily, I am still growing as a person.
All in all, I've grown to tolerate the fact that I'm here.
No, I'm still not over it.
If Matt told me we were moving to Lawrence tomorrow, I would pack my crap so fast it would make your head spin. Unfortunately I must accept that we will not be moving back East any time soon.
Eventually I'll grow up and realize this wasn't that big of a deal. After all, my parents moved 12 hours away from their family when they were younger than Matt & I. And they had just had Megh.
I know that one day I will call Salina "home" but for now, my heart still belongs in Lawrence.
However small a feat it might sound, moving away from home was a huge deal to me. I have learned so many things in the process.
meeting new people is scary at first but worth it in the end
finding out first hand what a board of directors actually does
learning how to be a salesperson
eating McDonald's almost every day won't make you fat
exercise is a fantastic stress reliever
having a little sister rocks
pretending to care about a community actually does make you care
Martinelli's Little Italy has amazing Italian food
driving from one end of town to the other takes approximately 10 minutes, no matter where you're starting from
giving back to your community is worth 10 times more than you think
don't go anywhere looking terrible; odds are you will run into someone you know
wind is a factor. always
what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
So, here's to many more years of learning to love Salina and many more years of growing the friendships I have so fortunately made here!