It’s been awhile. So much has happened and because of that the blank page has never felt more daunting. But I’m back and armed with a long update.
I’ve really missed the blog.
The last time I wrote I shared two big pieces of news: We’re having a baby! I got a book agent! There was another large change swirling around in the air during that time but I couldn’t risk mentioning it because then I’d have jinxed it: Brian was interviewing for a job back in Cincinnati.
Only two weeks after he started his job search he was offered the job. It seemed like a mini-miracle because I was desperate to get back to the states (three months of non-stop barfing, 98% humidity and no air conditioning will do that to a girl) and we needed health insurance. Of course, we’d been traveling for 3 years so Brian had a toddler-sized gap on his resume and a blog in which he represents himself as a Sasquatch. We knew the job hunt might be more of a marathon than a sprint. And yet, just like everything else that has been happening lately, it all fell into place. Around that time I read a quote, “If it doesn’t open, it’s not your door.” The doors we knocked on were flinging themselves open around us. We took a deep breath, held hands and walked through.
Sunset on our last night in Mexico
We landed in Cincinnati on Thursday. Brian started work the following Monday. In the span of one week we re-bought everything we’d sold in Oregon. We found a house to rent. We bought Brian clothing that does not have holes or OM symbols emblazoned on the front. My agent emailed me to ask how my book is coming. “Yeah, well, see, about that,” I wrote back, “Umm, I haven’t had much time.” We made daily pilgrimages to Target. We navigated the world of cell phone contracts and health insurance sign-ups. Then we plopped down on our (new) couch, cardboard boxes and plastic wrap stacked like kingdoms around us, and said, “HOLY SHIT WHAT HAVE WE DONE?”
Buried under Brian’s new wardrobe. Despite how it may look he did not take a job as a lumberjack.
I have so many mixed feelings about it all. When I am feeling sunshiny I tell myself that these 15-months (our lease is 15-months and we have latched on to this number, already repeating it like a holy mantra) are a cocoon of calm, a time to write, to reconnect with family, to have a baby and learn what life will be like as parents. When I am mature enough to tap into my Buddha brain I remind myself that everything is impermanent. I tell myself to enjoy this mellow water.
On the gray days I think, “I AM PREGNANT AND UNEMPLOYED. I HAVE NO FRIENDS FOR 1,000 MILES. I AM LIVING IN THE MIDWEST. WHO AM I???”
Ahem, so it goes.
A few things are for sure. Brian and I need to live in the mountains. It’s where we belong. My heart physically aches for Oregon but it also pings for the beauty of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge range. Cincinnati does not, unfortunately, have mountains (Yes mom, Cincinnati has hills. No mom, hills and mountains are not basically the same thing).
But our wandering hearts also call out for all of the places we have not been. Brian texts me travel itineraries throughout the day. We plot our adventures, this time imagining a child on our hip, because we are three now. I pat my belly and tell our baby, “You picked us kid, I hope you like what we’ve got in store for you.”
17 weeks pregnant. Yeah, yeah I don’t look pregnant but I feel huge.
It’s a strange time. Not just because we are living in Cincinnati. Not just because Brian is back at work. But because we are going to have a baby. And because if I would just force myself down to write I might one day have a book. If I take the long view I can see how everything is coming together and yet in the short view it feels a bit like things are falling apart. I suppose I’m reminded once again that the road is not arrow straight. If I blink into the distance I can see that it curves, 15-months in the future, into the beautiful unknown.