Saturday, September 1, 2012

Leaving Melbourne

This has been a hard post for me to write.   I’ve started, erased what I started, put a title up, erased it, and restarted, no less than six times.  This is the end, but it’s also the beginning, in the whole when one door closes, another opens, way of thinking.  This is the end of our two-year “traveling adventure," and it’s the beginning of a road trip that we’re excited about {posts from Savannah, Charleston, The Smokey Mountains, Bloomington, and Chicago coming soon!}.  It’s the end of one chapter but the beginning of a whole new one.

The more I think about wrapping this chapter of our story up, the more I think about previous chapters.  When we left Iowa, it was a stressful time.  At one point, while I gave myself fully to a job, a fiancĂ© who was grinding through law-school, and a family enduring what many families have endured the last few years – the gruesome effects of unemployment – my body revolted and developed a rash that covered much of my torso.  All-the-while, I planned a wedding and hoped the rash would be on its way in time!
So, when we pulled away from Iowa, I shed no tears.  Far from home, I found a place to become a more balanced version of myself – sans rash!  Andy and I found a stride as a couple in Oregon.  We learned how to exist without any preconceived notions of who we should be, and somehow found our way to a new us that felt more genuine.  I did shed tears as we left Oregon.  My trembling Bambi-like legs were unsure if they could support me without the comfort of an unknown place full of inspiration.

Saying goodbye to the beach!
We arrived in Florida and immediately felt less connected to the area.  But, we hit the ground running.  Literally.  With the Florida sun shining down, we put those legs to the test and began to train for a marathon.  These training runs saw our hearts and determination stretch further than I had ever seen them be stretched.  But, more than that, these runs saw the same version of Andy and myself that we had come to rely on in Oregon.  Soon we grew an attachment to our new state and our legs became even stronger – more like Bambi as a full-grown stag!

And, the sun sets on this chapter!

What I tend to like most about each of our chapters, is that they are unremarkable.  Our story is like so many others.  Our road has speedbumps, and twists and turns, just as everyone's does.  But, we have been lucky to experience this trip together.  We made a decision early on to allow this experience to be an adventure.  The thing about adventure is that it grows in your heart, and the more you feed it, the more it wants to be fed.  So, I know we'll keep feeding, keep growing, and keep watching doors open!


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