Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Little Hot Glue Gun That Could.

Gosh, sorry again for the extended absence. I’m really not trying to make it a habit, I swear. Time just seems to escape me, and as hard as I try to bottle it up like fireflies in the summer, I just never catch it. I have the best of intentions, but I find myself buried under a million projects.

As CMS in our house {Chief Martha Stewart}, I’ve been busying myself with unpacking, cleaning, organizing, shopping, decorating, cooking, crafting, crying, whining, and more cleaning. {No insider trading, though. Ba-dum-ching!} As the CCO {Chief Creative Officer} of Tom Sroka Inc., I’ve also found myself pulling apart and redesigning his website, ensuring he gets in 8,000 calories a day {no typo, I promise}, and offering feedback for the next portion of the adventure. I also have this pesky thing called a full-time job. Yesterday, between work and the website, I was on the computer for over 16 hours. My apologies to my eye doctor.

What I’m trying to say is whether or not I’ve been legitimately busy or just trying to avoid writing this post, the thought of staring at this blank, white screen had me feeling nauseous. In 15 mere days as a Southerner, 5 of which were spent in Chicago, what could I possibly offer up about our new life? I mean, besides the obvious house and crafty-type projects I’ve chosen to busy myself with. {Navy chevron curtains, people. They’re going to change my life.} First off, I can admit that I was wrong. Totally, inherently, mark this day down because it’s never happening again kind of wrong. I really didn’t think I’d like the South. I thought, in all honestly, I was too…I don’t know…urban, yuppy, Gen Y to enjoy life down here. But I do.

I can’t really pinpoint exactly what I love so much. The heat is oppressive, the accents are thick, and the taxes are high. But despite that, I can see myself living here for a long time. {Sorry, Mom.} Life just seems slower, less hectic, and more savored here. I know that’s quite a blanket statement coming from such a green transplant, but everything, from the cashier at the grocery store to the cars behind you on the freeway just seem to not be rushed. For someone as fast-paced and urgent with no cause like me, it’s rather welcome. I feel like I’m on vacation. I’ve had sweet tea, grits with hot sauce every morning, local sweet, fresh peaches, and waffle fries from Chick-Fil-A. I’ve taken a long walk just because almost every day. I’ve sat out on my porch with my morning coffee, and read a book while laying in the hammock. It’s been unbelievable, yet so natural in one giant, messed up bundle. Some days, when I’m going on hour five of work and I’ve had no one to talk to except my dogs, I feel like I’m going to lose my mind. And other days, I feel like I’ve been waiting for this my whole life.

I’m still scared that the bottom is going to fall out, or that in ten years I’ll look back and wish I hadn’t moved. I guess that’s natural when you’ve uprooted yourself from everything and everyone you’ve ever known. But more and more every day, I feel like we were meant to be here. I don’t know where exactly I fall into this picture, or what the great Queen City has in store for me, but something is a-brewing. And until then, you’ll find me on the porch, armed with a can of spray paint, Tom’s power tools, and the determination to make this place pretty until I figure out something better to do.

On the Road

Technology is amazing, isn’t it? I sit here writing to you all from somewhere in Indiana, en route to my new home. By the time I’m done writing, we’ll be closer to Kentucky.

This just does not feel real. Have 6 months really passed?

Every bump and jolt of the vehicle reminds me that I am indeed on my way to a new life. It sounds dramatic, I know, but it’s true…very few things are the same now. New apartment, new surroundings, new way of living (just found out I’m allergic to gluten), new job (same company, thankfully!). So what’s the same?

You.

My family, my friends, my work wife, my coworkers…you’re still all here for me, encouraging and supporting this dream, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

I cried yesterday…a lot. It’s not easy to make me cry, but I just couldn’t stop the past few days…waving goodbye to my friends and colleagues, getting those tight squeezes from my nieces, the card from my goddaughter that tells me how sad she is that I’m leaving, breaking down when my mother in law asks me how I’m doing, kissing my grandmother goodbye for the very last time…

(And now I’m crying again.)

No amount of excitement can temper the sadness that I’m feeling. Even the fact that I’m returning in the next few weeks doesn’t help.

Please keep my parents and I in your thoughts for a safe and uneventful journey. I will report back in better spirits in Carolina!

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The Secret Second Chance.

And so it begins…

Tom and his team are currently caravaning across the country, literally driving from coast to coast. From California to Carolina, the five-day, almost 3,000 mile trek has started. In a week, he will be in our apartment, and in another week, so will I.

My Farewell Tour, as I’ve taken to calling it, started on Friday with dinner with my godmother. Saturday was dinner and drinks with my good friends from college, and Sunday was dinner and the theater with my mother. This week, my birthday week, is already packed full of lunch and dinner engagements. My days are filled with a crazy work schedule, attempting to prepare for the move and a job role transition, while my evenings are packed with friends and family, visits to my Gram, cleaning, and re-packing and loading boxes.

All at once, and all too quickly, it seems, the time has come for me to leave. I’ve spent almost six months apart from my husband, living with my parents and without all my worldly goods, and in mere days it’s all over. It’s such a strange sensation. In 11 short days, I will be on this journey {Olympics or Bust!}. Something that has been so abstract for so long is now here, tangible, and…real life.

We are so fortunate and lucky to be part of this movement. To say that my husband is part of the first professional team of Olympic lifters is unbelievable. We’ve never really had an opportunity to say no to any of this. How do you turn down the dream of a lifetime?

Ironically, we’ve done it once before. Correction: My husband turned it down once before. A few years ago, I was battling a health issue that was, and still is, pretty unbelievable to think of. I was slowly losing my vision, and my doctor, one of the best in the country, couldn’t figure out why. My case was written up and presented to the best doctors in our area, then in the nation, and then at a world conference, and no one had any answers. No one could say what is was, when it would stop, or if I’d be able to see when it was all over. And then my husband got a call from a two-time Olympic medalist, offering him an opportunity to train full-time at his gym in Arizona. He said no. He knew he needed to stay by my side, help me fight, and be my eyes when I didn’t have them.

This is why I can’t say no to any of this. California? Sure. Carolina? Let’s do it. Timbuktu? I’m sure I’d say yes. When someone gives up their dream for you, and they get a second chance, you take it. You grab it, you hug it, you hold it tight, and you make it happen.

Slowly, my condition stabilized. I no longer notice what I can’t see, and I have a new normal. But it’s not physical for me any more. However cloudy my daily life may look, my vision has never been more clear: the next 8 years of our life will be chasing down this dream, and along the way, I look forward to laughter, adventures, memories, and new friendships.

Here’s to second chances, starting over, and saying yes.

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