December 2: It Happened for a Reason
Different things happen for different reasons. Some of them happen to make us stronger, and some happen to make us better people. Describe one thing that happened this year that challenged you to be a better, stronger person, against all odds. How did this affect you emotionally?
In the very beginning of this year, Mr. Fox and I picked up all our stuff (well, what was left after selling and giving away most of it) and moved from Indiana to Philadelphia.
Backstory for those unfamiliar: Mr. Fox’s father died in April 2011, and we had the opportunity to buy the house he had resided in before he died, from the estate. Ironically, the house was previously Mr. Fox’s uncle’s house, and it was quite literally around the corner from the house he had grown up in as a child. Anyway, so we bought the house from the estate, with the inheritance, and in turn, inherited everything in the house. Since Mr. Fox and I met, he had always talked and talked about things he still had at his dad’s house, from his childhood up until he moved in 2003, and I would always say that he shouldn’t get his hopes up about it still being there if we were ever to return. Needless to say, I ate my words when we got here and started unearthing shoes that Mr. Fox had worn when he was 5 years old, as well as some pretty godawful clothes that he bought before he left town, and should never ever wear.
Mr. Fox and I had always secretly wanted to move back to Philadelphia. I was born in Jersey, but grew up between there and Philly. And obviously this was his home before moving to Indiana. So when the opportunity presented itself, we jumped. We took the chance, and like I said, sold off most of our stuff, threw a lot away, gave a lot away, and moved. We both quit our jobs, gave up friends, and I left my parents behind (though they actually ended up moving here as well in September).
This was very hard for me to do, even though I’ve always moved around. My parents were always indecisive and got that “5 year itch” (although sometimes it became the 2-year itch), so I got used to not living in the same place for more than a couple years. I guess I don’t really know why this time around was harder for me than others. Maybe it was because I was leaving my parents behind (we have a close relationship), or maybe it was because I was leaving a bunch of friends behind (even though this hadn’t been the first time I’d done that).
On the flip side of the coin, I believe that this was one of the best decisions I’ve made to date. Not only am I a homeowner, but I am back in a place that had previously given me a new lease on life (I lived here back in 03-04, graduated HS here with honors, and generally had a wonderful life living here). I have new friends in addition to the ones I had here before. I’ve reconnected with childhood friends I had growing up in Jersey. Mr. Fox has rekindled friendships he had left behind when he moved away, and that makes him happy. Our marriage has gotten stronger and healthier.
So I suppose I would say that, had it not been for a house basically falling into our laps, we’d still be living unhappily in a place we only felt like we “existed” in, rather than “belonged”. Mr. Fox and I “belong” in Philadelphia, so we live and exist and love here. Our time in Indiana was more or less a very long, extended vacation. Granted, we did leave people behind when we moved. We haven’t forgotten about them, and they still made an important impact on our lives.
But we needed to move on. And I was and still am grateful for the opportunity we were given to do just that. I believe this challenged me emotionally because it was like a clean state. Like I was wiping the previous few years of my life and just starting over in a new place with new people. If you ever have the chance to do this, don’t think about it too much. Just do it, because if you don’t, you’ll always find yourself wondering what would’ve happened had you taken the chance and jumped.
I couldn’t imagine my life any better than it has been since getting here.
This year, I am participating in #projectreflect12, which is a new series for reflecting on the year gone by before the new year starts.