I was thirty-three, when I eagerly walked through that bright, shiny door in the Texas Hill Country. On the other side, I found myself on unfamiliar terrain, including no pizza delivery.Catch up with Part One.
With relocating the family to a new area, we knowingly added more stress to our lives. I believed I was prepared for the aftermath.
My comfort zone of my old neighborhood was gone. My newest neighbors were donkeys…..literally. A ten mile work commute increased to n miles a day. Our children had to adjust and make new friends.
Living outside the city limits, caused challenges with finding kid’s activities that worked with our schedules. Even driving to the grocery store triggered anxiety. There were scorpions hiding in hampers and I was paranoid of snakes.
I had given myself whiplash to save deer, fox, and the occasional skunk. Locking eyes with stubborn peacocks caused serious contemplation of how much damage a bird could actually do to my car.
Apparently nature does not bring out my best side
All of this triggered confusion. As you have probably guessed, pizza delivery was a small speck when compared to everything else. Our family’s goals had not altered from what they were before we moved. Our children, our jobs, and ensuring a safe and loving home were still our priority. Why would a different zip code affect me so much?
Everything I was doing seemed wrong. Every accomplishment was short-lived in my mind. I thrived and had great successes at my job, being promoted and sealing work relationships that helped me thrive. However, these achievements were never enough. I felt empty and defeated. My 30’s seemed to collapse on top of me. I had a fear of being viewed as weak or selfish. I feared failure.
My husband’s advice to slow down, fell on deaf ears. How could anything wait until tomorrow? Do you know how bad a lunchbox smells if it is not properly wiped out? How would life keep going if I was not able to get the kids to practice on time, if the house was not clean, or if one of them forgot their fundraiser paperwork at home? I could not separate my stress at work from my life at home. It followed me. It consumed me. (Have I mentioned that my husband is patient?)
For the next few years, I continued my journey through the chaos of life. I had my good days. I had plenty of bad ones too. I left my job in the city and worked closer to home, thinking it would be the game changer. I adjusted, but never felt like it was a good fit. Around this time, I realized that I was forcing myself to live a dream and accomplish goals that were not mine. Out of the necessity to survive and the fear of the unknown, I had morphed my dreams into ones that required no risk.
Tug-a-War: Me vs. Life
I struggled with my private battle while I cheered on at baseball games. I fought with it as I cried tears of joy at dance recitals. I hid it behind my pride, as my oldest walked the stage and received her high school diploma. I camouflaged it by changing jobs (again), thinking I needed simplicity.
Life moved forward. It was going to – with or without me. Either I could run away from home and start over in some foreign country………..or step up and start really LIVING my life.
After several discussions, with my very tolerant husband, I left my job. For the first time in twenty years, I had no specific plan. No plan at all. This caused moments of panic for someone like me, but I was fortunate to have a support system to remind me….. I could only go forward.
I am not delusional. I know this journey will not be an easy one. You see, I am and will always be a Type-A Perfectionist. I still have moments of impatience…….. but I remember to laugh more at those times. I still have not accepted the reason for a scorpion’s existence…… but my aim has improved. I am still disgruntled about not having pizza delivery, but have embraced the frozen and homemade variety for convenience.
I still have fears……. but I no longer let those fears define who I am.