It takes a year - a good solid year, at least, to get just a little bit used to a new place, a new city, different responsibilities, different apartments, different people.
It's been a year (and a couple months) since the two of us moved to Jacksonville and then surprisingly became the three of us. We left our family and friends, a job I loved, and really all that was familiar to me for as long as I could remember - and it was painful.
But lately, it hasn't been stinging so badly. I no longer require gps to go everywhere that I need to. I no longer have to say "hi, nice to meet you" to every person I come across in a social setting. I can tell you where to have a nice brunch, where to get a great latte, where to find the best donut of your life. I can even tell you my address, because for the first time in almost two years of marriage, I've lived in the same place for more than 6 months.
What I can't do is have lunch with my Grammy on a whim, like we were in the habit of doing. We can't call up my parents and decide to go over for dinner. We can't be there for every birthday, get-together, or celebration.
In the beginning it was really tough and perhaps what made it so difficult was that I didn't know what I was feeling or why I was feeling it. I had just moved away and I had just found out I was pregnant; I simply did not know if I was crying every day because I was lonely or because I was growing a baby and eating a steady diet of saltines. Looking back I think it was a combination of the two.
It is healthy, though, to have awkward interactions all the time because you're new, they're new, everything is new. It's healthy to ask God "why?" and slowly, slowly hear him answer. It's healthy that my husband is my best friend and my only support because there isn't anyone else to turn to. So I text him and ask if he can come home from work at 5:30 instead of 6:00 because I'm feeling a little extra lonely today. He comes home, we eat, we put Charlie to bed, we maybe read or watch a movie. It's routine and it's the three of us and it's starting to feel less like sitting in the waiting room for life to start and more like living now.
Our weekend trips back to St. Petersburg come almost every month. They go a little too fast. There are always friends I don't get to see, favorite shops I don't get to go in, and the busy schedules of the ones we are visiting. I'm thankful for these visits anyway.
The other day there was a moment where I felt a strange relief that I had not felt for a long time. We were riding in the car and I began saying to Michael "Hey, when we go home..." and he said "yeah, in October?"
I replied "Oh, no, home, as in our home. Here."