Halloween has always been more than that highly anticipated annual day of candy and dress ups. For starters, it also shares a date with my mom’s birthday. Happy birthday, mom!
More recently, though, last year to be exact, it was the day that Anthony moved to Wisconsin, and I stayed back in Connecticut for two months before following suit in January. One year ago October 30, we stood on my back porch for what seemed like an eternity. Me crying, unable to say that “final” goodbye, and hoping that if we stood that way long enough, he wouldn’t end up leaving the next day, and him telling me over and over that it was going to be okay, and that he would be back in no time. True. In hindsight, it was from Halloween to Thanksgiving, and then he would already be back for a visit (with an engagement ring, much to my clueless surprise), so maybe I sound a little dramatic, but in my defense, in the three years we had been together, that type of separation was just not a thing. Not to mention he was driving to Wisconsin, which introduced a whole new slew of worries in addition to my missing him, and worrying about him living totally alone where he didn’t know anyone, a thousand miles away. It just felt like “the beginning of the end”. That first step into what was going to be our scary new lives started with Anthony, and the day for him to leave had finally arrived.
A year later, I still find myself just looking around and marveling at the changes that have occurred in the last 12 months. There are still instances where my mind wanders, and I find myself in disbelief that we actually did this. That I actually did this. We are living in Wisconsin. This big, scary animal that I spent three months worrying about and dreading. Trying to find a way to stay in Connecticut until our wedding. Trying to soak up all of the time I had left in Connecticut, while still enjoying my favorite time of year, but trying to do so without Anthony. For reals. You’d think I had found out I was dying or something. But at that point in my life, having never lived truly on my own, let alone states away from my parents or anything familiar? It really did kind of feel that way. It felt like everything was over after Christmas. A holiday I love so much and look forward to, but that year spent dreading and hoping it came so slowly, because right after, it was out to the midwest for me.
But, here we are. We did it. I did it. I have surprised myself in so many ways. I always knew Anthony could do it. He’s very driven, focused on the future, and he’s just that guy. He knows what he needs to do, and he does it, even if he doesn’t want to. And that’s why he’s so perfect, to me, and I knew it the day I met him. But me, on the other hand? I was always super attached to my family. I now had a niece that would grow up on me and I wouldn’t even be there to see it, and maybe she wouldn’t even really know who I was. My dad and his whole medical history in the last few years, sometimes feels like a ticking time bomb, still responsible for my heart skipping a beat when I get a phone call from Connecticut. My mom, just because she’s my mom, and who wants to move away from their mom? Not to mention I now had a wedding to plan, and was too busy pouting about having to move to really get a move on on that.
I never thought for a second that I would be where I am now, a year into this saga. Emotionally, or physically. Yes, living in Wisconsin. But having friends here, better friends than I ever had back home. Starting a photography business here, something I have always wanted, but I know I never would have had the courage to do in Connecticut with all of my friends and family spectating, and able to see if I failed. Being excited to show people this amazing area we live in. And finally, the most surprising… being really torn over the idea of possibly leaving one day. As, I know once we have kids, we will both want to be closer to our families. At the end of the day, after all the worrying, dragging my feet, wishing my situation were different…. we are meant to be here. I know people think that the saying, “everything happens for a reason” is just something people say to comfort someone going through a hard time. That it’s so easy for the person who isn’t experiencing a rough patch to weigh in on how your rough patch has its own reason that will make itself known later. But it’s so true. Without the harder times in life, without the lessons, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I wouldn’t be where I am today. I never love being over a thousand miles from my parents, but I am finally happy with who I have become.
Moving away never would have been my first choice. Or even on my radar as a possibility. But it needed to happen. I truly believe now that in order to become the person I was meant to be, this move was 100% necessary. And even when it’s hard, and I miss home more than normal, I’m really, truly thankful for this opportunity, and this amazingly scenic route we are taking through this next stage of our lives.