Living out here in the country has been like a retreat for Gregg and me. Its been like a long but intense therapy session. It started out H.A.R.D. Gregg was frustrated with work, I was frustrated with non-work. It was like we had just gotten married. Every little thing seemed to cause friction between us.
And now, its bliss.
Just kidding. Seriously though, we are doing so much better than we were when we were first moved here. This is partly because Gregg’s less frustrated, and I’m working. Its also because we’ve gotten to know each other better. We’ve become a self-contained unit. Some couples always function like this, relying only on each other, not reaching out too much when things go wrong or get hard. For us, I don’t think this is our natural inclination. We thrive with friends and community. With girlfriends and guy friends and couple friends to do life with. But now, we’re all we’ve got. We’ve met people here and there, but for the most part its us. And being just the two of us, has forced us to be just the two of us. Redundant.
We’ve learned about each other. I’ve learned that when Gregg isn’t complaining about his day, that means he’s had a good day. I like to share the good and the bad. He mostly shares the bad. So, when he’s quiet, things are usually good. What else?
I’m not sure what he’s learned about me, I’ll have to ask.
I guess I’ve learned some things about myself, too. I like the quiet country life. I love and need and want people and friends. But slow-paced non-city living is good for the soul. The soul can settle nicely in the country’s back pocket and rest for awhile. I guess that’s what we’re doing. Resting. Being on an extended retreat. Together.
We talk a lot. We’ve got no internet. We do have a tv, which I have a love-hate relationship with. We’re having a beach day tomorrow. I’m reading the second book of Harry Potter. I’m not sure why I resisted for so long.
When we told our pre-marriage/marriage counselor that we were moving, he said that a good friend of his recommends that every married couple move away. Some place that’s new and foreign and just the two of them.
I miss my friends. I miss my family. I’ve gotten homesick out here. That feeling has been lost on me ever since I stopped going to Girl Scout camp. Home is definitely with Gregg. But it’s also people that know and love you. Me.
I know that we’re not in our forever house or our forever jobs. Do those even exist any more? Gregg says that the next place we move, he wants us to be there for twenty years. Yes, says part of me. Twenty years??!!, says another part. At 28 years old, its really hard to imagine being somewhere for a little less than how old I am. (Does that make sense? I’m 28 and we’re going to move somewhere for 20 years.) In my 28 years, I’ve lived in two houses in Roanoke. Two in Knoxville. Four in Clemson. One in Australia. Another in Nicaragua. A bo-go-zillion in Europe. Two in SF. Two in Knoxville again. One here. 16 homes in 28 years. My pastor in Knoxville loves talking about place. He talks about the importance of sticking it out and digging into one place. You can imagine how guilty I felt when we told him that we were moving. He’s on to something. Its just hard for people our age in a not-so-good economy to get settled for the long haul when they don’t have kids and a mortgage. And, let’s face it, we’re all commitment-phobes.
So, for now, we’re here. Retreating. Trying to make this our home.