Friday, September 14, 2007

Lucky 13

So it's barely Friday, but it IS Friday, so I can say that TODAY I will drive out of this town that I have lived in for the past 13 years.

Whoa.

I was the first of my sisters to come to this town, though not the first to come to the state, and now we ALL have college degrees, 2 of us more than one degree. My older sister is a doctor and a mom, another is a mom of 4 kids, and my baby sister just moved to CA so she and her genius husband can do grad school. Oh, and learn to surf.

My family has gone from living in the house we lived in for 21 years to living in 5 different locations around the nation and the world at the same time (can you get farther apart than Argentina and China?!) to living all in the same state for the last 14 months.

I have an aunt and uncle who live in this town, and their family has been my family since I moved here, so I judge the passage of time through events in their family as well as mine. For example, in the last 13 years, between our two families, we have had 9 weddings and 15 grandchildren. And there are 2 more of each looming on the horizon. :)

When I came here, my aunt and uncle had 9 kids, and their oldest kids, twins, were sophomores in high school. Now there are 10 kids in the family, 6 of them are married, there are 10 grandkids, and those 2 high school sophomores each have 2 kids and a college degree. The second youngest was too young to remember life before I came here, and the youngest didn't have life before I came here! :)

In the past 13 years...

...members of my immediate family have lived in:
  • New York
  • St Louis
  • Champaign, Illinois
  • Taiwan
  • Argentina
  • California
  • Utah
  • China
  • Arizona
...I have personally visited:
  • Romania
  • Israel
  • Egypt
  • Jordan (2 times)
  • Argentina
  • France (3 times)
  • Canada
...I now have:
  • 2 college degrees
  • a car
  • 3 brothers-in-law
  • 3 nieces
  • 2 nephews
  • cunieces and cunephews to whom I am a Cuzaunt
  • 4 bridesmaid dresses
  • highlights in my hair
  • 3 pairs of 3 inch heels
  • a cell phone
  • a real "move to be near it, get paid a salary, have good health insurance" job!

I have been staying at my aunt and uncle's house for the last two weeks, while getting ready for this move, and tonight when I got home, my uncle said to me, "So is this the last time you'll be sleeping over at our house?" And it hit me that it is, and I nodded yes so that I wouldn't cry when I said it, and he said, "It's the end of an era."

And lists like the ones above don't even TOUCH the friends that I've made, and the road trips, and the funny one-liners that stick with you. They don't cover academic growth, or spiritual growth, or personal growth, or professional growth, or what I now know that I want in my life that I didn't know I wanted before. They don't cover being in love, or getting your heart broken, or waiting. They don't cover jobs, or my coworkers who became my work family, or the stress of all-nighters freshman year and all nighters prepping the masters thesis, or the deep-down satisfaction of knowing that I finished that massive paper and contributed something to the university with my project.

I can't make a list of the changes in my world view, or the opinions I've discovered that I actually do have, or the power I've found to express them. I can't list the gratitude that I have to the people who have supported me, or even begin to ennumerate the ways they have done so.

And next?

  • My mom and I get in my car in 30 hours and drive across the country.
  • I hope that my 8-yr-old niece namesake forgives me for moving so far away after only a year and 2 months of us living in the same state.
  • I hope that I don't cry every time I think of my 4-yr-old niece in tears telling her daddy, "I just really know I'm going to miss Aunt Margaret!"
  • I buy a professional wardrobe.
  • I find a place to live, hopefully adequately close to fun stuff and my job.
  • I make new friends.
  • I swallow my fear and my pride and step down from my "I've been top dog in my on-campus lab for 6 and a half years" pedestal and learn how to do my new job.

I try to think about what's AHEAD instead of what I'm leaving BEHIND so that I can make it to the other side of the country without losing all the liquid in my body through my eyeballs.

7 comments:

Brooke said...

Way to go Margaret, what a time you've had. Three cheers for real life, and a real job!!!
Congratulations again and good luck!

NoSurfGirl said...

oooh... the only thing worse than job interviews is STARTING A NEW JOB.

But I think this time it will be different... it sounds like you're going to be sort of deciding what your job entails and sort of pioneering some stuff and being in charge, which is much funner. Much, much funner.

Keep that liquid in those eyeballs.

Heather said...

My gosh, Margaret. I missed it. It's Friday, and you're out of here. I love you lady. YOu have blessed my life. Here's to wonderful and crazy Utah years, and here's hoping you come back for Mary Lou's wedding, since I am the photographer. :)

Love you. You'd better post regularly.

KATE said...

MARGARET!! - Where are you going? I can't open the stupid Reider attachment, so I'm out of the loop!! I'm so excited for you & SO going to miss you! I know we just saw each other at family stuff, but I looked forward to it EVERY time! (I'm even more sad that I didn't get a chance to talk to you at Brookes blessing!!) I love you & will miss you tons! YOur post made me cry a couple different times!! You are going to have so much fun, & do great! Good Luck!! Love you sweetie! - Your favorite cousin (Kate) ha ha

Janell said...

A fabulous post, Ms. Margaret. Utah will be lacking without your presence, but if the people on the other end of your trip have any sense they'll throw a parade in your honor as you enter town.

Anonymous said...

Margaret!

Friend! I didn't get to say goodbye! (my fault not yours) But I am so glad that I did get to see you briefly before you left. And so glad that I have you for a friend--you who gives up important time to come support me in something that I am involved in. Thank you for loving me that much!

Take care and write soon--I need to know where you live (when you find a place to live) so I know where to travel to come see you!

Much love,

Jenn

Danielle said...

I'm still in denial that you have left the Beehive State.

Darn it, this state is losing cool people by the minute it seems. I have had four good girl friends move away in a matter of two months; two of those are among my closest friends (you and Kath).

Anyway, the point is Margaret that:

1). You have been a WONDERFUL friend and I will miss you lots.

2). Thanks for all the WONDERFUL memories over the past three years. We've gone through a lot together and you still remained my friend. THANK YOU!

3). Thanks for all the WONDERFUL laughter. I can still hear your laugh in the echoes of my mind. And you're still one of my all-time favorite people to laugh with, if not THE favorite one to laugh with.

4). Thanks for all the WONDERFUL things you have done for me - and for others - especially our talks and, again, the laughter. Gosh! I am missing you already.

5). Thanks for being a WONDERFUL person. Period.

I love you, Margaret. You know that I don't say those words lightly. Yet, I do love you and want you to know that you have been a WONDERFUL blessing in my life. Thanks for being one of my closest and dearest friends.

I wish you all the best in D.C. The next thing you know it, you'll be blogging about all the boys you are asking you out and how you're conquering the world of work. ;)

You better keep in touch, girl. http://afewsnapshotsofmylife.blogspot.com

(and I know you have my email).

Love,
Danielle.