I am three weeks to the day away from making my second move to a new continent, only this time it will be with my (soon-to-be) husband. While you may assume that I am in a complete state of euphoria and excitement, allow me to assure you that I’m actually caught up in a complete cyclone of emotions.
As I type this, I’m fortunately in the eye of the storm and enjoying a few moments of peace and calm, and I can rationally explain what is really happening in my hamster wheel (AKA mind).
1. HOLY SH*T I AM MOVING TO AUSTRALIA WITH THE LOVE OF MY LIFE! Yes, this is in fact my initial thought, because, I mean come on, that is in fact the single coolest thing I have been able to say to date, and I’ve done some pretty cool things if I say so myself.
Our relationship started off as a secret because I was afraid it was a conflict of interest issue at work. Though I was a nervous wreck about it for our first two months together, it also allowed us to start our relationship as raw and authentically as possible, without almost no outside influence of others.
Think about it, getting to know someone without listening to the input or “concerns” of others, forming your own opinion of that person based solely on what you know of them from firsthand experience. It was a rare and beautiful gift, and now we get to start our life in marriage in a similar situation.
Although we love our friends and family and do look forward to being in closer proximity to them eventually, we are so excited to get experience this first year in unity on our own terms, creating our own life the way we want to, without the outside pressures of tradition and expectation. As Austin told me a few weeks ago, we are taking the advice we would give to other people in our shoes and setting an example for our potential future carbon copies (offspring, spawn, minis, what some may even call “children”, etc).
2. HOLY SH*T, I’M OFFICIALLY GOING TO BE FULL-TIME ADULTING…on the other side of the friggin’ planet. So, yeah, I’m super stupid pumped about all of the things, but oh my Lordt, there are a lot of “figure it out for yourself” moments involved in all of this. Calling my parents for help or advice isn’t as easy as it is here, considering the 15 hour time difference (and international rates). Fortunately, I already have a small community and support system in the beautiful luscious place that is our future home and a really kickass employer who has already proven that he has our backs.
3. Family, please don’t die. Now, you may think I’m being way to straight forward and possibly even morbid, but this has been my reality for the past five years. My family has been through the damn ringer, year after year, for five years. Five. So excuse me if I have a crippling fear of yet another tragedy occurring while I’m frolicking around in the land down under.
I know, I know. “You can’t live your life like that.” “You just have to push those thoughts aside.” “Just pray about it.”
I get it. I have told others the same things. I’ve told myself the same things. However, I have yet to find that big, red, glorious flip switch that allows me to simply “keep calm and carry on.” I’m working on it, okay?
*ALL PRAYERS AND POSITIVE ENERGY ARE GREATLY APPRECIATED. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE, WARRIORS.
4. God, please don’t kill me this year. Again, you may see it as morbid, but it is just a reality of life. It ends. My only fear of this is that it will come sooner than it should for my loved ones’ sake. As I mentioned in my blog post If I Die Before I Wake, I have lived an intense and beautiful life and I don’t have regrets about the way I’ve spent my time, but I have seen the heartbreak on all of my grandparents’ faces due to the tragic loss of a child, and I wish anything and everything but that for my folks.
This thought is intensified now because, duh, it’s a big move and people keep tagging me in Buzz Feed articles about all of the things that want to kill you in Australia. If you’re one of those people, please stop. Thanks!
5. My legs are going to be SEXY. Thought I’d throw this one in next to lighten the mood! A) Hello sun-kissed, Native American descendant skin and B) our main source of transportation will be our feet and our bikes. We’ve made a pact not to buy a car so we can live healthier, save money, and be friendlier to our host planet and fellow breathing creatures. I solemnly swear to check my ego when this happens. You’re welcome.
6. Family, I already miss you. I probably haven’t made this evident enough, but I already miss my family so much that I cry. I’m a daddy’s girl, and as the country song goes, (both of) my mommas’ worlds. I cried the first night I permanently moved in with Austin because it finally hit me that that was it. I’ll (ideally) never live at home again. I’ll most likely never live on the other side of town from my parents (unless they decide to move to whatever sunny place we set up shop in a few years). I have officially left the nest. Like, for real this time. It’s what I had always dreamt of, but it stung my like a bee.
As much as I am looking forward to this journey, I am dreading these next few weeks as I will be hugging the necks of my most cherished people for the last time for what is likely to be at least a year (seeing as they can’t/won’t realistically visit).
**I’m officially crying. Bleh.
7. Success, we welcome you with open arms. Austin and I have some things up our sleeves, and it’s going to be a big year. One thing that makes me a LION is that when I say I’m going to do something, I do it. Just like my big, grey-headed, head strong daddy, when I put my mind to something, there is no stopping me.
I said I was going to travel the world; I started by studying abroad. I said I was going to live in Europe; I completed a four month long internship in England (pre Brexit). I said I wanted to check out Oceania; I’m moving there in three weeks.
As badass as that sounds when you put it that simply, imagine how humbling it is to be marrying someone that is even more driven and successful in his field.
That being said, we both have BIG plans for the next year, and we can’t wait to share it with you! So if you’re at all interested or intrigued, please subscribe and follow along. It’s going to be a wild(ly successful) one!
8. Please, God, don’t let my in-laws hate me. Now, I know they love me and that is SUCH a mutual feeling. However, I realize I’m whisking their precious lil’ babe away and that weighs HEAVILY on me. We are literally getting married and jumping continents. Egh. It is so very exciting, but there is some sadness that comes with it that I wish I could sprinkle fairy dust on and make disappear, but I can’t. I PROMISE TO TREAT HIM LIKE THE PRINCE HE IS FROM THIS MOMENT ON, THOUGH! (She says as she falls to her knees, clasps her hands together, and looks up with giant puppy eyes, completely at their mercy! …End scene.)
9. Please, Trump, don’t fudge up our international relations so badly that we get deported. That’s all.
10. Thank you, God, for getting me to this point. I can’t express the gratitude that comes along with an opportunity like this. I get to move to a beautiful, safe, and exciting new place alongside my favorite human, working in the industry I love, putting my education and experiences to good use. I have felt the cold depths of the trenches of the Quarter-Life Crisis, I have doubted myself more times than I have confidently moved forward, and I have cried crocodile tears full of hurt and happiness.
Because of every one of those moments, I promise to work as hard as I can over the next year, live as fully as each day allows, and to be as kind and gracious as one can be in EVERY situation.
Thank you, sweet reader, for sticking with me thus far and for keeping your arms and legs inside this emotional roller-coaster at all times. Stay tuned for updates on the humbling realities of what is to come over the next year!
The Humble Lion
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Kalu Ndukwe Kalu
The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.