Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Looking back

2 weeks left in our house, and then we are off to our adventure in San Antonio, Texas. My job will give me 90 days leave, so I will be returning in September. Ryan will be staying until October some time until his school is complete. We had a lovely "Send Off" Happy Hour last Friday. My cheeks hurt from all the laughter from an evening with friends. Life has so many blessings.

I have to look back in awe. May 20 marked 5 years that we've been in the Tucson, AZ area!

5 years ago, I cluelessly stepped out of the U-Haul onto 100 degree, hot AZ sand (not soil). Didn't have a college degree yet (I was only 19), didn't have a job, all friends and family were clear across the country, Ryan was only my boyfriend at the time.

Was I crazy?!?! Yes.

 Here's a photo we took upon our arrival as we crossed the border into AZ. 

Through the unknowns and fears, I was literally "embracing" this journey. (I'm embracing the sign...)

Our first weeks. Okay, let me be honest, our first couple of years here I was not incredibly happy. I missed my family. I hated the summertime, as I dwelled on how much fun I was missing out on at the lakes as my siblings and parents gathered most weekends. I felt like the dry heat sucked the life out of me.I would think, "How in the hell do people live in this disgusting place?" 

Nursing school wasn't exactly what I thought it would be. I didn't make a great deal of friends. We had a hard time making friends. Being a married 21 year old, who's idea of a "good time on a Friday night" is grilling in the backyard and playing a board game -- our peers kind of viewed us as "lame". Most of the people we socialized where my husbands coworkers who are in the 50's and 60's. Which was fine, but then it would get awkward when we'd meet their children.....who were our age. 

I just didn't have any real girlfriends. I couldn't wait for something to happen in our careers that would allow us to move.

And finally...instead of waiting for something to happen. And waiting for life to get better. I chose to make it better. Nursing school commencement arrived, I got my 1st job out of school, and I started forming a "work family". 3 of the women I worked with are still my closest friends, and I cannot imagine life without keeping in touch with them. 

I started jumping on new experiences at every opportunity. And soon I found joy in my "digs".....

 This photo was taken one of the first weeks we lived in Tucson. I remember one evening I was sobbing in misery. And Ryan forced me to go on a hike - and he made me climb this ridiculous rock. (I am not daring, and rock climbing is not in my nature). When we got to the top, we were rewarding with this sunset. I get a little teary eyed looking back at this picture, because the memory is so vivid.
 Another favorite snapshot of us hiking back in the day....(feels like these pictures were taken 10 years ago..not 5. I've changed so much as a person!)

Sometimes I get a little nervous about this move to San Antonio. I have little flashbacks of the frustration and difficult time I had acclimating to Tucson 5 years ago. But I must remind myself how much life has drastically changed. I know things will work themselves out!

I'm at the point now where every day I give someone my "last hug" for 3 months. We say our goodbyes, and I feel a little sad but mostly thrilled (because I know we are returning). I have found such an amazing and supportive network of people. My coworkers keep me constantly happy at work -- I've learned so much from them. My "Desert Tri Girls" have made a swimmer and road biker out of me. My 5 am running buddies have made me the fastest I've ever been. I also have my "Bunco Broads" and "Rockin' Ragnar Girls" (another running group) (apparently my groups like to have clever titles...) But most of all these people have an energy that is incredible.

And most importantly, I have my husband who is my best friend - who is truly family to me. He has put up with my craziness for almost 4 years of marriage, and 6 years of being together. It excites me to know that I will have him for many years to come. And I cannot wait to cross that Texas "line" to start a new adventure! "I reckon we will be right fine, y'all"

This is a picture of me when we crossed the Texas border 5 years ago! Yep! We were those dorky people who pulled the U-Haul over at every state line to take pictures. 


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Great post, Abs. It is crazy that you have been in Tucson for 5 years! Where did the time go? It makes me feel a little better hearing how much you disliked Tucson and knowing how much you love it now. I think I would get to that point here in Charlotte if I stayed here that long. I don't think I will stay here - but if I can't get out of here as fast as I'd like, at least it's good to know that it might get better with time.

I am excited for this next adventure for you guys! I am glad you will be able to join Ryan as being apart again would be so far. I most definitely reckon that y'all will be more than fine!

Marlys said...

Well, I always say it is "mind over matter" and we can acclimate ourselves to appreciate wherever we live! I never, never, never wanted to live in Wyndmere, but you know that is where I ended up! Instead of hating it, I decided to bloom where I was planted and have done just that. Do I look forward to moving someday? You bet your britches I do! I love where we are going to end up, but sort of don't like the idea of becoming a Minnesotan for various reasons which will remain personal! But we will survive inspite of them! I'm glad you are enjoying life and that makes me so happy! Have a great experience in TX!

Amber said...

I have also been in my current city for 5 years and I also HATED it at the beginning but I've since grown to love it and even created my own little life and group of family & friends here and I really really love it here now. Though living far from family NEVER gets any better!