I’ve known Sarah now for almost two years. In that span of time, we met, at Camp Widow, began dating, she moved to Ohio, and has since moved in, officially, with Shelby and I. She’s been here in Ohio for one year, as of yesterday.
That means that we’re getting into that phase where we are saying “last year, we did this” or “do you remember when?”. Make no mistake, there are still so many new things we are experiencing, especially on her part, but we also have “history” now.
As of Monday, we can look back to last year. We can remember what the fall colors looked like and compare to this year. We can make plans for Halloween 2016 based on what we know of Halloween 2015. We can stop comparing as many things to Drew or Megan, and start comparing to each other.
So I did it. I made it to Key West, honestly I didn’t know if I would. It didn’t seem like it would ever be reality, it would just always be this far away dream that I could never really grasp. Leading up to the trip, even just writing a pre Key West blog, I did not allow myself to be excited. I didn’t want to jinx anything. But we landed safely in Florida and thanks to my sister and four of my best friends we completed Joey and my Key West bucket list trip!
We did everything I wanted and needed to do. Stopped on every island, snorkeled, eat new and exciting foods, paddle boarded and just sat back and soaked in the sun.
I would stop often and laugh only imagining what Joey would have been doing in some of these moments. Or reminisce with everyone on different stories of Joey. He was very much a part of this trip. And it was very heartwarming to be with people who loved and missed him. It’s always refreshing to be around people who want to talk about your loved ones who have passed on. It’s not uncomfortable or weird for them. It brings smiles and tears to them as it does you.
This week, I went to the art museum by myself. This was a really big deal, or at least, I am deciding it is. Since moving to Ohio, I’ve been reluctant to get out on my own. I have only a handful of places I can even drive to without having to use a map to get me there. The shopping center by the house, the post office, the fancy grocery store 10 minutes north, and the shopping center 20 minutes south where I worked for a few months. That’s really it. It’s endlessly frustrating.
Instead of being more proactive about finding my way around a new city, I’ll admit I’ve avoided it. I have felt too vulnerable adjusting to a new place and lifestyle. I have felt a need to protect myself and not venture out. And that’s natural, I suppose.
As of this past week though, I officially added several new places to that list. I’ve taken Shelby to school enough times now that I finally didn’t use my phone to get me there this week. I’ve gone up to Mike’s work to take him lunch twice now, and drove the second time home without a map. After driving to my art class on Thursday nights for 4 weeks in a row, I made it there this past week on my own. And on Thursday afternoon, I went to the art museum for the first time, and thus downtown for the first time, and I drove the way back without a map.
It seems like such a small victory… but it’s definitely not. It means I’m starting to feel confident enough again to venture out. It means I’m beginning to adjust to this new life halfway across the country from where I grew up.