The moment was finally here. We had been preparing for it for months. So many times, thoughts had crossed my mind wondering what this moment would feel like.
The moment in itself surprised me. Nothing actually prepared me for what it felt like to get into the car and drive away from everything.
Our adventure has begun. This wandering lifestyle is now my current everything.
We had received orders months before, which is actually an incredibly long time in the military world to prepare for a move.
The orders state that the last four months of the year would have my husband, Josh, on temporary duty traveling back and forth along the east coast.
Since we don’t have children and nothing truly tying us to our current duty station, we decided to pack up our house and make an adventure of it.
So I knew what was coming: at least four months of living out of hotels with only the belongings I could fit in the car.
That should be the fun part, right? Living on the road, hotel hopping, and site seeing on weekends. It’s the perfect little millennial gypsy adventure and I was really looking forward to it.
I knew I had to get through the hard part first: preparing myself to leave this place that had finally become home.
Funny how that works. Just as I really start to make incredible friends, find the best shopping around, and some great hole in the wall restaurants, I have to leave it all behind…so goes the life of a navy wife.
For the most part, I stayed optimistic about it all. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I was asked how I could be so calm or how I wasn’t stressing out. I suppose that would have been the normal thing to do but I honestly felt at peace about the whole situation.
It was going to be an adventure and I was going to be ready for it.
The Next Steps
As we found renters for our house, packed everything up, and made arrangements for our trip, I rushed to try and hang out with as many of my recently acquired friends as possible. But with every box I packed, and friend I said goodbye to, the reality of what was about to take place started to creep up on me.
I wondered numerous times if I’d cry when I finally got into the car and said goodbye to everything that had been my life for the last two and half years.
We would be totally finishing this chapter of our lives and the memories it holds has been some of the most difficult, most rewarding, and sweetest I have ever experienced.
I knew that I would possibly need to mourn the ending of it. Some might say that sounds weak and once upon a time I would’ve refrained from saying it myself out of insecurities of appearing weak, but these days I’ve stopped caring.
I actually find that some of my strength comes from being able to admit to myself that part of the road ahead is going to kind of suck.
Let me have my moment to acknowledge the absurdity of the whole thing and then watch out because I’m going to rock every situation presented to me.
I’m going to choose to always be happy. Life is just too short not to.
Waking up the week before we were supposed to leave, I turned to my husband and said “today starts a week of lasts and goodbyes”, to which he replied, “that just means next week is a week of firsts and hellos”.
I thought on that for a bit and as I watched our renters (who are also some good friends) move all of their stuff into our house. Their last lease and our orders overlapped a bit so we all stayed in the house together for a week.
I’m pretty sure a lot of people found this to be really odd, but it was actually a really great time and I think we would all agree that our friendships grew a little stronger as we slid from the “these are my friends” to “they’re like family” status.
So here we were, totally packed and ready to climb into the car to drive away. For the last time, I wondered if I’d cry as my beautiful little house and all its memories faded in the rearview mirror.
But something amazing happened; I found myself holding back the tears as I said goodbye to the people in our lives and totally forgetting about anything else.
Months of preparing for this moment and nothing could have prepared me for what it actually felt like.
As we said our last goodbyes and finally got into our over-packed car, we waved to our new family until we could no longer see them and turned to face the road before us.
Saddened by our goodbyes and totally ready to say hello to a new chapter, new friends, and new places….sometimes saying goodbye means saying hello.