Life for the last few days:
I don’t often get too serious on here, (this post being the only other real time, but I guarantee most of you didn’t see that since I had all of about 25 readers then) but last week I read this post by Amanda and it struck some major chords. Since we’re flying home today and I’ve photographed/written up absolutely none of the good food we’ve made and ate over the past few days, (sometimes a break is nice) I figured I’d share some of the serious side of life with you guys.
Leaving Florida every time we come to visit is a bag of mixed emotions for me. Here’s the backstory….
We got engaged about a month after Ulysses moved down to Florida from New York to open up a business with his brother. During our long distance engagement (I was living and working in Connecticut at the time) we bought a house in Florida with the understanding that I would move down there after the wedding. I was lucky enough to be able to keep my job and work from home. The wedding came, I moved down and we spent our first married year living in a nice house with a pool, jet-skiing on weekends, traveling around the state for races (Ulysses raced jet-skis at the time), eventually getting Ginger, taking a trip to Key West, and all the other great things that come from living in a climate where you can be outside all year round. And then, a little over a year later, I had a breakdown when a holiday edition of a Frontgate magazine arrived in my mailbox. I can literally remember crying as I turned the pages looking at snowy Christmas tree setups thinking about how much I missed snow, the change of seasons and my family. All those emotions coupled with the fear of not being able to progress professionally given the fact that I worked from home and was restricted to certain roles within my company, made me obsessed with moving back to NY.
Ulysses, however, loved Florida. Not only the weather, but also the career opportunity of working in law enforcement that he was literally on the verge of accepting when I expressed how much I wanted to move.
An easy decision it was not. Add to it the whole fact that we were dealing with the market crash of 2008 at the time and bought our house in 2005 at the peak of the market and you’ve got one ridiculously stressful and difficult time. We were lucky in that we actually sold our house when plenty of neighbors could not, but we also took a huge loss in order to do so.
So, Ulysses turned down his job opportunity in FL hoping for a law enforcement job in NY state, we moved back to NY, I got promoted and all was good.
For about a year and a half.
At first, I fought the realization because I didn’t want it to be true. Because if it was, I just ruined my husband’s opportunity at a career he had really wanted for nothing. So admitting I was wrong wasn’t an easy thing to vocalize as you may imagine. But the feeling just continued to grow stronger and stronger.
There are many things that made me think I made the wrong choice ranging from weather to career opportunity to quality of life and I literally beat myself up about it almost everyday for about a year after telling Ulysses my feelings. There’s an enormous amount of guilt that you feel when you’ve made a bad decision that doesn’t just impact your own life, but someone else’s as well, especially someone you love and it hung over me constantly. This time around though, we couldn’t make the decision to just up and leave again because of real life stuff like jobs and mortgages. So, we’re still in NY with long term plans to move back to Florida but no real timeframe or idea of when that will be. To a type A planner this drives me insane. I like instant gratification and if that’s not possible, a plan for when things can be accomplished. It took me about a year of feeling a constant sort of stress and anxiety about not having a concrete plan to realize I was wishing my life away and needed to start living and being happy in the moment. We may not be where we want to be but we still have plenty to be happy and thankful about.
I’ve learned to accept the bad decision on my part over the past year or so and have somewhat come to peace with the fact that it was probably a premature decision to move, but there are definitely still days when I get frustrated and wish I could have a “do-over.”
For all the negative in the past 5 years though, there have absolutely been some positives to come from the whole ordeal. I’ve really come to understand what things are most important to me and to “let go” a bit. I’m trying to enjoy all the good stuff in life like each other, Ginger, family, friends, health and a beautiful house despite the fact that it’s not in the sunshine state. I’ve also come to finally understand why people say your 30s are the best years of your life because 24-28 were r.o.u.g.h. At least I’m going out with a good year (minus finding all these damn gray hairs!) but wow, making life changing decisions at 25 is kind of hard.
So visiting is not the easiest thing in the world. It’s hard not to spend our time in Florida thinking about everything life could’ve been right now had we stayed and it’s definitely not easy getting back on a plane to 40 degree rainy weather from 78 and sunny! But, the grass is always greener on the other side so for now we’re staying put and learning to make the best of it. With places like Chick-fil-A, Menchie’s, Whole Foods and Chipotle only minutes away in Florida though, it’s not always easy!
Back to NY we go…