Adjusting to life on the road

by Kim on June 7, 2012 · 49 comments

A tear for my career

I have been out of my job for a month now.  A whole month!  That’s just insane to me.

While I don’t exactly miss the day-to-day of work, I have found myself unexpectedly mourning my career.  It’s clear now that I didn’t fully understand how much I identified with what I did until I didn’t do it anymore.

I remember feeling a similar way when we sold our house. I took pride in owning a home.  When we moved into an apartment I had to collect that pride and redistribute it, point it towards that unchanging core inside of me. I had to learn that living in a house or an apartment or out of a backpack was just an external detail, my living quarters don’t define me. Likewise, my job is not who I am and I am not less of a person without it. 

The perception of time

Time is speeding by in a different way than it did when I was working.  When I worked, the days would move glacially slow but the weeks would disappear in a blur. When I looked back on a week it was hard to distinguish one day from another. With my routine: rise-work-run-work-home-dinner-bed, most days were just slight variations of each other.

Now, the days fly by.  Many days it’s 5 p.m. before I even know it and I marvel at how easy it is to not do much and let the day slip away.  My purpose now, still in Ohio, is just to spend quality time with family.  So I have long conversations over dinner.  I visit and laugh and reminisce. I itch to move on from Ohio and start exploring yet these moments are precious and I am enjoying every one of them.

Me and my dad

Relationship growing pains

The dynamic of Brian and I’s relationship is changing once again and we are having growing pains, trying to find that comfortable spot where we co-exist peacefully, trying to flesh out our new roles as we figure out who we are, individually and as a couple, in this new environment.

While we were in New York we had a ridiculous and intense fight in Times Square over a $3.90 cup of gelato (I wanted it, Brian didn’t think we should spend the money). I wasn’t angry about Brian’s opinion on the gelato but I was taken aback that he so passionately lobbied for the cause.

In NYC, mere hours before the gelato fight

I’m used to managing the money in our relationship, and I’m used to being the frugal one, so the role reversal threw me for a loop.  During the fight it dawned on me that, for the first time in our relationship, Brian and I don’t have our own pots of money. We’ve always jointly contributed to shared expenses but kept our own accounts so that we each had the freedom to spend our money as we pleased.

This shared money, it’s an adjustment so small it didn’t even register to me before we stumbled upon it, but it feels big in the moment. We’re in that phase where many small adjustments are revealing themselves all at once and we are bickering ourselves to death.

Missing Portland

In my quiet moments, usually right before bed, I ache for our life in Portland with an intensity that sometimes brings we to tears.  I miss our friends, I miss our quirky city, I miss running in the forest, I miss the mountains. Life there already feels so far away.

This too, I know, is part of the journey.  To love something and leave it.  To open myself up to the rest of the world, to risk the known for the unknown and to hope that there is meaning there. To embrace the many emotions that are woven together into the net I use to catch my dreams. To love them, even.