If anyone had told me a year ago where I’d be right now, I would have laughed.
My friend Kenny asked me if my life was usually this chaotic, and I said “I don’t think so.” His response was “that’s too bad, because it means you don’t have the mechanisms to cope with all the chaos now,” which sounds reasonable but if that’s the case, why aren’t I freaking out? In retrospect, has my life been perpetually chaotic? I would still guess that the answer is closer to ‘no’ than ‘yes,’ but I’ve had my share of flux too – both expected and unexpected, good and bad. In any case, Kenny was both right and wrong. Yes, major life changes require serious coping/adjustment skills. But no, this change is not particularly chaotic – at least, not chaotic in a negative sense.
The past 12 months have brought me some of the biggest life changes a person can know. Since last January I’ve moved across three states (CA->NY->VT), found true love (the truest), worked an amazing job only to be unemployed for the first time since college, and am expecting a new baby. Any one of those things on its own could have rocked (nay, capsized) the boat pretty hard, but somehow these have been the easiest choices of my life. When the job in New York came along, I was ready for a new challenge and a change, but the many awesome people there made it an easy, comfortable move. When I met my fiance, I knew right away that it was a sure thing, and we fell readily into the most caring, honest relationship of my life. Finding out about the baby-to-be was a little more terrifying, but I think the prospect of parenthood should always be a little bit terrifying. The decision to make the move to be a family, together, in a faraway but beautiful part of Vermont, came naturally. We entertained other options and played devil’s advocate, but in my heart I knew from the start that it would be this way, and that was okay.
This is not to say that the move has been 100% flowers and butterflies. The Vermont winter is more beautiful and less challenging than I expected, but moving unemployed to a small, rural town far from anything – that’s not entirely easy. The first week was a jolt, but with projects and part-time work lined up, it gets better every day. And waking up every day next to your favorite person in the world, knowing that you’re embarking on the most rewarding challenge of your life together? Wonderful.
I don’t know whether I was wrong in my response to Kenny, or if he was wrong in assuming I’d need an advanced degree in chaos to maneuver (manoeuvre?) the coming months. In either case, it’s been the most surprising and beautiful year to date – a trend that I expect to continue.