Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Crossing the finish line

Months and months ago, when we were living in Tucson but knew we were going to move to Ithaca soon, I was feeling so overwhelmed. I told my friend that I wasn't sure it was really going to happen, that I was afraid that at any moment, the rug would be pulled out from underneath us and life would laugh and say, "just kidding!" I couldn't see how it was all going to come together: finishing/defending Jeremy's dissertation, keeping the house clean while it was on the market, tying up all the loose ends in Tucson and starting them back up temporarily in Provo, and then again more permanently in Ithaca, packing up our stuff, driving to Provo, and then driving across the country to New York to unpack and re-establish our lives.

Uh-uh. Not gonna happen, I told her. It wasn't possible.

She is a good friend, though, and she told me it would happen, somehow. She said to just concentrate on the moment that would surely come, when we were settled in and happy in our new lives in Ithaca. She said even to imagine the particulars: everything unpacked, a New York license plate on our car, Jeremy going to work, a paycheck coming in. It was my own personal finish line.

I think it's only now I've finally reached that moment that I believe her. I'm not claiming to have everything unpacked, or at least everything unpacked in the right place, but we've finished most of the dreaded "moving in" tasks that take so much effort and money (and so many terrible phone calls!). There are a lot of places that want money from you when you're establishing a household in a new place, that's what I've learned. And I still have the occasional nightmare that Jeremy didn't show up to his dissertation defense (until I remember that wait, that was me). But on the whole, we're settled in. License plates and everything.

It's nice to be that future version of myself I looked forward to becoming all those months ago. I'm glad my friend gave me the advice to look ahead and visualize the finish line, and it's one I would pass on to anyone going through a major life change. Time will always keep moving, and most everything that needs to get done is accomplished, somehow. I'm still not sure how we did it, but here we are in Ithaca, walking to the ornithology lab in a tutu and rainboots like nobody's business.


It feels good.

9 comments:

JackJen said...

That post warmed my little heart, Bridget.

Liz Johnson said...

I love it. I keep trying to visualize us being out of school and having a job and such, and it's extremely hard for me... mostly because I don't think I know what it looks like. But I really like this. I'm going to keep it in mind (and probably re-read it 300 times). Thanks. :)

EmmySue said...

So happy for you guys. I keep tring to visualize our house in Tucson selling... but 5 offers later and still on the market... I am losing hope. What did you end up doing with your house? We are going to try the rental route now... blah... the finish line keeps moving farther away sometimes...

Laura said...

I felt the same way right before we moved out here as well.
I love the picture of Miriam. She is wearing a classic kid outfit.

The Ensign's said...

My bet is it was Gigi. Am I right??

Bridget said...

Janae, you are so right.

Liz, it is the weirdest thing to be living in that future that was so distant for so long. I can't wait for you to get there, too!

Suzanne Bubnash said...

The technique of visualizing the future works for other aspects of our lives. As in when you have a difficult teenager you need to view them as you know they can and will be. It really helps.

Going through tough or seemingly impossible experiences builds us up & makes us that much more capable of overcoming future challenges.

Jeanerbee said...

I hear ya about the craziness of moving and wondering how it will all get done! And it does... and now I've got another "finish line" for myself but it's over 3 years away!!!

Amanda said...

I lived in Ithaca for 4 years while I went to Cornell. I miss it like Crazy. I live in Austin now. It's a great city but I cannot handle the weather at all. We're trying to move back east. I'm trying to take this post to heart, we can do it. I will never experience that infernal summer again!

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