Ch-ch-ch-changes

You ever have those times when you have so much to say you find that you can’t say anything at all? As if all of the stuff going on paralyzes you to the point where you just shut down? Yeah, that’s me. There’s a reason I haven’t written a blog post in forever: we’ve got stuff going on and most of it is stuff that I’m not really happy about.

First and most foremost, we’re moving. Not just moving from a small apartment to a bigger apartment. Not just moving from the city to the suburbs and back again. No, we did all those things in the space of 16 months not that long ago. (We’ve had a lot of addresses in the past 3 years; I guess we move a lot.) This is a bigger move. This is a move from my beloved hometown of NYC – where I grew up, where my family is, where my job is, where my comfort is – to a state that I never, ever wanted to live.

About 6 weeks ago, my husband got a call out of the blue from somebody he used to work for. They wanted him to be their new weekend morning anchor at the local tv station. Great news, right? After all, my husband has been wanting to get back on-air for 3 years. Since the day he gave up his job in Miami 2 weeks before we got married because I said I would never live in Florida. Too far away from everything I’m familiar with. Too damn hot. Too damn Floridian for me. Oh, and did I mention that it’s too damn hot? Since that time, he’s been in a series of jobs that haven’t satisfied him and that just didn’t use his talents. So, this phone call should’ve been met with celebration. But? Because obviously, there’s a ‘but’. Well, the station is in Orlando. Friggin’ Orlando, Florida.

I wanted to just say no. Flat out no. No, you cannot take a job that would uproot our whole family. No, you cannot take a job that would require me to leave my job and make me unemployed. No, you cannot take a job that would take our daughter out of the daycare we all love so much. No, you cannot take a job that takes us so far away from our families and takes Peanut away from her beloved grandparents. No, you cannot take a job in a city that requires year-round air conditioning. No. Just No.

But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it because 3 years ago, my husband made a sacrifice for me. He gave it all up to marry me and never once complained about it or made me feel guilty. How could I not give him the same consideration? So, we talked about it. And talked. And talked. Then I cried. And cried. And cried some more. Because I felt like I was in a complete no-win situation. If I said no, I would feel terrible and guilty and shameful. If I said yes, I would be miserable and sad and lonely. Eventually, I wimped out; I just forced him to make the decision. Cowardly, right? There has to be a part of me that recognizes that I did this so that when I am miserable and sad and lonely, I can blame him. You made this decision. You chose this, not me. I feel bad even admitting that but I’m not as good a person as my husband is. I wish I were but I’m not.

So, he decided that he really wanted this job. And I couldn’t say no. So…we’re moving to Orlando. I’m devastated and scared and frankly, freaking out. There are so many things I’m freaking out about, I don’t even know where to begin. Will we make friends there? Will it ever feel like home to me? Will Peanut be happy there? Will I find a job? Will I lose my sanity being a stay-at-home mom until I do find work? This last part is the part that freaks me out the most. I’ll write more about this later because I have an awful lot to say on this topic but for now, I can’t think about it too much.

In two weeks, Peanut and I will be on a flight to Orlando. We’ll meet my husband there who is driving down in a U-haul filled with all of our worldly possessions. I feel as if I’m doing a slow march to an uncertain future and I’m filled with dread. Yet, my husband is excited and I really, really want to be excited for him and with him. I hope that someday I can figure out how to do this. I hope I can be as good a partner to him as he’s been to me.

Anyway, that’s only part of what’s going on in our lives right now. I think the paralysis is easing up some and hopefully I can write more about everything, even though it’s hard. It’s hard to write about sad stuff, about stuff that fills me with anxiety, about stuff that feels overwhelming. But it also feels good to get it out there so expect to hear more from me soon…

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9 thoughts on “Ch-ch-ch-changes

  1. Sweetheart, you never fail to amaze me. I love you more and more every day, and am stunned at how honest and brave you can be in your writing. You put it all out there in a way I’m sure I never could. It’s one of the things I’ve always been attracted to in you.

    I’m going to work as hard as I’ve ever worked to build a life for all of us in Florida, and the fact that you’re willing to give it a chance tells me everything about you.

    I love you.

  2. we lived in florida (coral gables) for a year (2011) for my husband’s schooling. i hate florida and always will for numerous reasons, but it has some good things that NY and SF dont.

    -super cheap housing, food; everything is cheaper!
    -no state taxes
    -great highways
    -vacation in your state (naples, key west, miami beach, west palm beach, tampa, etc)
    -amusement parks
    -alligators (which i love)
    -year-round sun might grow on you. for the hot days, i wore a big hat, walked slowly, and just limited outside time
    -everyone wants to visit so there was plenty of family time especially when it’s cold up north
    -cant speak for orlando, but it’s probably similar in that there is always something going on: festivals, carnivals, various cultural events, concerts, parks, etc

    i made the best of it and have great memories from that year. i would do it all again. you’ll meet like-minded people by doing the things you enjoy. you arent the first new yorker down there 😛

    have fun!

  3. Good post! I don’t think I’d be so thrilled with it either, but you’re an awesome partner for giving it a go. It is a big move.
    On the upside, you can visit Disney anytime you want… Or that might be a downside.
    Good luck in your move. I hope you’ll find it to be a pleasant surprise.

  4. A move that huge is going to be terrifying – don’t beat yourself up for being scared. You’re human. You’re also a better person than you realise, because as scared as you are, you’re making a huge sacrifice for the man you love, just like he did for you. Deep breaths, and good luck. You never really know how strong you are until you’re facing something you thought you’d never be able to cope with.

    Also, Mark? Your reply nearly made me cry. You’re both very lucky to have each other.

  5. I was wondering when you were going to write about this! I LOVE that you’re so honest. Maybe my story will make you feel a bit better – I went through something similar years ago, but was alone – not moving WITH my family, but away from it. All of it.

    For my whole life, I had planned to go to university on the west coast of Canada – my grandparents lived there, I visited every summer, I NEEDED to be by the ocean (I grew up in Alberta, but have always been obsessed with the ocean). Most of my friends moved to the coast after high school, so it was ideal. But to save money, I attended the local college for one year so I could live at home & save money for the big move. Long story short, there was an issue with the college curriculum and I wasn’t able to transfer my classes ANYWHERE – including the universities along the coast. The only place I was accepted was Regina, Saskatchewan. It was devastating for me. This is a place that I had never been, but is constantly ridiculed by people from Alberta (and honestly, most of Canada). I had no friends or family in Regina, and it is notorious for being exceedingly cold. My choice was to either move to Regina (and be alone/miserable), or move to the coast as I’d always dreamed – but repeat my whole first year of university and waste all of the money I had saved.

    Practicality won out – I moved to Regina. I kept telling myself to just suck it up, finish my undergrad, and THEN move to the coast. For the first while, I was exceedingly bitter, and refused to enjoy myself or make any friends. But it slowly grew on me. Since then, I’ve had several opportunities to leave, and chose not to. Twenty years later, I’m still here, am raising my family here, and can’t imagine living anywhere else. If I won the lottery, I’d stay. I absolutely love this city (I even like the cold now, oddly enough), and more importantly, I love the people. The friends I’ve made here are like my second family.

    I guess the only advice I can give is to put yourself out there, and like your other reader said, meet some like minded people. Florida just might grow on you if you give it a chance. There must be lots of other people who have left home to be in Florida. (Is anybody actually FROM Orlando???) I wish I had done that sooner, but I was too busy pouting. It’s OK to be bitter for awhile, just don’t let it suck the life out of you! Besides, you have a great husband and kid with you.

    If all else fails, maybe a new blog is in your future…”Florida is annoying”?

  6. Hey Tiff, I’m impressed with your writing style. You obviously have a great deal of talent.

    It is for this reason, that I have faith in you, and your ability to stay strong. Now that you and Mark are committed to the Orlando move, I know that you make it, and will be just fine.

    The human spirit is extremely adaptable. You will find work in short order when you apply yourself, and you will find a job.

    I admit that much of my parenting approach with you and your bother has been of the “tough love” school, but I always wanted you to be tough. Tough enough to face, and conquer the challenges you would face in life after childhood. Now, you are tough enough. You’ve done enough in your life to have demostrated that. Just remember that, and remember that I love you. And I AM proud of you. Proud of you for being brave, and unselfish.

    Love,
    Dad

  7. I’m so sorry you’re leaving NYC behind but I can give a shout that you’re coming to Florida!!!! 🙂 🙂 Orlando is a lot of fun. Sure, there are really touristy parts but there’s so much to do there, festivals, parks, etc. There are some really great day cares/schools there, as well.

    I think all of your feelings over this are perfectly normal and valid. I think feeling as if you have a legit reason to place blame on him if this doesn’t work out is normal, as well. I love that you are so honest about this. Practicing self-sacrifice is always hard but doing it in marriage can be even harder. (And I hate sacrifice because deep down I’m a pretty selfish person.) But think about what a great example of a committed, loving marriage you are showing to Peanut (yeah, I know she’s little but still). I’ve lived in Florida in my whole life. My husband grew up in New Jersey and it was an adjustment for him but he’s acclimated now. We go to Orlando frequently. Next time we are there, I’ll buy you a drink, maybe several! 🙂

  8. Wow, what a transition. Orlando is very different from new york (i graduated from ucf and then moved to manhattan), but so much fun and very relaxed. You will soon fall in love with year round pool weather and having a back yard.

    There are so many young families and so much for youngsters to do. I have twins a month younger than peanut and we visit our inlaws who still live there often (in fact we’ll be there in two weeks!)

    I so admire your bravery.
    Enjoy your new adventure!
    Rachel, a devoted reader

    PS – if you are feeling down you can always go to the universal studios backlot….

  9. I love reading your posts (both), and feel like we are friends just from the posts, pictures, and shared experiences. You have a beautiful heart and the love for your daughter and husband shines through in your words. I moved to FL from a cold state this year and have no regrets, except missing family. I fly up, and they come down and visit. It will be a big change, but try to keep an open mind and you might surprise yourself with some of the new things that you will learn to love. Also, as a team (you and hubby) you will continue to communicate, reevaluate and grow together. Who knows, maybe this job is something that will lead to another opportunity. You never know what life has in store. Someday you will reflect back on this and realize that you wouldn’t be where you are if you hadn’t made the move to Florida, and will be so glad that you did. More importantly, you are supporting your husband in something that he is soooo excited to do. And, reading his reply to you, shows that he knows how much you love him. Good luck. Enjoy the ride. There is definitely more to come. Safe travels and settling in. Let us know how you’re doing.

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