Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Big Move: Part 2

Part two has arrived--better late than never! Where did we leave off? Oh yeah.. here:
If this isn't the most ideal "welcome home" one could ask for, I don't know what is. Somehow I imagined it running a little smoother than this. Following the unloading of all my boyfriends shit aquired goods, and a VERY helpful 2 extra bodies to unload (shout out to my Dad and brother), this is what we were left with. We were done unloading by about 4:00pm, had been up since 5:00am, driven 6+ hours that day, literally hadn't eaten a thing all day and were unshowered (ok maybe that was just me).

I don't know if I've ever felt that exhausted. Physically, yes. But mentally and emotionally? Even more. Needless to say, nothing moved that first day. Climbing over the sofa to go up the stairs would just have to do.

Once things did start moving, it was slow to say the least. Not to mention the fact that we still had some very big items to move. Lets just say I haven't been staying on top of my push-ups. It was actually very close to this scenario:

My boyfriend and I joked throughout our trip that we just can't escape doing anything half-assed. We couldn't just do a long distance relationship, we had to do a cross-country relationship. This couldn't just be any move, it had to be a 5 day move. We couldn't just catch up with one another slowly, we had to catch up trapped in a truck cab for multiple days. We couldn't just drive home, we had to drive home in a 16 foot truck with car in tow. So in similar fashion, we couldn't just unpack and move in like normal people. No way.

What do I mean by this? Once we realized nothing was happening Wednesday,Thursday was the new goal. However, as these things tend to go, my boyfriend had orientation for the better part of the day, and we were both too pooped to make a serious dent in unpacking. And wouldn't you know, Friday we were back on the road. First to New Jersey to weigh and return our truck, and then back to upstate New York to see family and friends. Sunday again left little time to unpack, with Monday being my boyfriend's first day of school and my first day back at work after a 10 day hiatus.

I wish I could say it slows down, but it doesn't. This weekend, off to Pittsburgh for my niece's christening, next week a visit from my boyfriends Mom. As I stare at our mess of an apartment, my dreams of wall hangings and clean floors and an unblocked stairway stattered, I realize its fine. Because its been a crazy adventure, and somethings are just most important than empty boxes:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Big Move: Part 1

What do you get when you take two people, one six hour flight, one 16 foot truck, one trailer hitch (plus car), 10,000 lbs of furniture and goods, 5 days, 11 states and 3,000  miles?

Oh, hey there! Yep, we're back! All in one piece and with more miles under our belt than I ever thought could be accomplished in five days. I have to say at times (I'm looking at you Montana and South Dakota), I didn't think we'd make it. But we did, and as with any road trip there were a few bumps along the way. 

But every bump tells a story, right? Here's a little of what I learned along the way:

First, I may have missed my calling as a professional truck driver. While for first half few hours of the trip this thing scared me senseless, I eventually got used to it (yes there was a car on that trailer): 
After awhile I even felt comfortable enough to participate in some snapshots. But always hands at 10 and 2, naturally.
Hours upon hours of driving will teach you a lot about comfort as well. In a seat that doesn't recline you start to miss the simple pleasures of being low to the ground. Another lesson I picked up: vinyl is hot. Real hot, sweaty hot. And sometimes, you need to improvise (those paper towels were very absorbent, by the way):
As it always turns out, things don't always go as planned. If this trip was a life lesson it would be something like "from now on, plan to be about a half hour late anywhere." Because you can very easily get lost here:
And here:
And if you're me, even here: 

Sounds simple enough, but always have enough gas. You never know when you, and your gas guzzling truck, will end up lost and with a dangerously low tank in South Dakota at 2:00am in a location you're pretty sure they filmed the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

While we tried our best to stretch every dollar, our packed food ran low around day 4. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that eating Burger King and Taco Bell in the same day is not always a good idea. 

Have you ever gone 12 mph up a hill? Well just imagine what its like going down a hill that steep carrying thousands of pounds of goods. Lesson #2390439084: brake fluid is important and sometimes needs to be replaced. Like say, when you're descending Mount Rushmore and your brake light begins flashing and dinging. 

Smile, you just dodged a bullet
Despite the bumps, we survived and show no sign of killing one another yet. But the biggest reality check was waiting for me at home: maybe the hard part wasn't really over:
Welcome home! 

To be continued...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Slow Down, You Crazy Child

So its here! The big adventerous road trip is upon us and at this time tommorrow I'll be anxiously awaiting my last flight to Seattle. So how am I preparing for it? In a nutshell, I'm trying not to crack (no pun intended).

You see my friends, I am experiencing a bit of an emotional overload.  And I know what you're thinking, for the love of God Meghan, stop crying!! But no, when I say emotional overload I don't mean just one emotion. I mean ALL the emotions. I'm excited, I'm nervous, I'm stressed, I'm frustrated, I'm flustered, I'm beyond happy, I'm anxious, I'm releived. I'm... a hot mess.

I really, REALLY, don't like to admit when I'm wrong. But lets just say I might have underestimated how much change was going to be happening at once. Don't get me wrong, the biggest change of all still has me smiling from ear to ear. Him coming here, the move, moving in, him being a permananet fixture in my life and not a visitnig suitcase every 6-8 weks. But in reality, its much more than that.

Its a move from one apartment to another. In three days. Up 3 flights of stairs. In a city, with very little loading and unloading space. Its never ending details. About cross country routes, stop points, navigating a 16+ ft. truck across America, and getting home with enough time to spare. Its about release dates and details I know nothing about, an hour by hour plan that I can't control. Its about unloading 5 days worth of shit stuff in 2-3 days time. Its about how do we make this place instantly look like a home. Its about where to store this stuff until it has a place to go. Its about seeing you and you and you and making sure we don't miss you. Its about a lot more than I thought.

I won't go as far as to say men are from Mars and women are from Venus,  but I've learned not only thorough my relationship with my boyfriend, brothers and father, but also through communication with other women, that men and women just plain handle things differently. Don't worry women, I'm not lumping you all together as basket cases like myself, but I think its safe to say that we're more emotional. More vocal, verbally or non-verbally, about our worries, concerns and fears. And believe me, I've been vocal! But in the midst of my emotional rollercoaster from stressed to frustrated to who knows what was next on the merry-go-round (don't I just sound like a dream to live with?), I've learned that my boyfriend is stressed too. And overloaded. And he's experiencing just as much change as I am. And he's flustered, and frustrated and nervous too. Just not as outwardly as I, and maybe this is the first time I've realized it. Or even, aknowledged it.                

Slowing down may not be an option right now, but taking a moment is. Taking a moment to just breathe and realize that tomorrow is the day I've been waiting for forever. Tomorrow is 129 days in the making. That its good to be mindful and plan ahead, but as of tomorrow I could care less if we get lost in Montana for 18 hours. I could care less when we get back, or where we stop, or if we're living in a bedroom with an extra bed, TV and kitchen set. Because I've been waiting SO long just to get here. And everything else will get done eventually. And I really believe that. Just seeing him is what I need to prevent this emotional crash. To take things as they come because we're FINALLY together.

I'm sure deep, deep, deep down, my desire and want to take the world on before I realize I'm about to crash is a small tiny miniscule part of what he loves about me. But I'm sure he's happier yet to know that as of tomorrow we'll figure it out together, one mile at at a time..

Friday, August 5, 2011

Coming Soon..

I know myself, and personally, I don't think many people would describe me as "spontaneous." I have a plan, remember? The one that never unfolds quite as I imagined? Ahh, yes. 

Anyways, while I was waiting on this side of the world for my boyfriend to arrive back in the states (today, by the way.. yayyyy), I thought I had all the specifics of our move accounted for. You see, with him having to fly back to Seattle first, but eventually having to end up back here in Philadelphia with his things and wanting to see family and friends back home, we had a lot of bases to cover. All before the start of school for both of us, him a week before me. Doesn't this sound like one of those word problems? If Jimmy is sitting next to Susie, who is the right of Sandy who is not sitting next to Billy, then where is Joey? Could give you a headache just thinking about it! It may have given me a few..

So the plan was he would fly out of Seattle arrive here in Philadelphia, we'd skip back to our apartment hand in hand and his stuff would be delivered soon after. And what happened? Well, long story short, not that. 

So, drum roll please....
WE'RE DRIVING CROSS COUNTRY! One week from yesterday, I am flying to Seattle to begin the long journey home. One week from today we'll be on the road and enjoying all the majestic scenery, beauty and rest stops that this great country of ours has to offer.

Part of the plan? Hell, No! Something different? An adventure? YES! We've got each other and a GPS. I mean really, what the worst that could happen driving across the country in a U-Haul with a car attached to it..?

To be continued.. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Series of Fortunate Events

Right now, on the other side of the world, someone is closing a chapter in his life. Eight hours in a land far far away, my boyfriend is completing his last official day of military service. At what second on the clock, I don't know, but this will trigger a domino effect. A change in his life, and a change in mine. A new chapter, a fresh start and a real chance. Our life starts now. 

This journey, documented here frequently over the last seven months, has been my biggest struggle. My challenge. And as with any challenge, mental, physical, emotional, you always know it could be worse. However, that does little to quell the emotional roller coaster you've just voluntarily signed up and buckled in for. The last year and a half, mine has run the gamut of emotions; happiness, frustration, sadness, hope, desperation, love. Even now, as the seconds tick off the clock, almost shouting at times "one minute closer", I struggle to find the right words to express how I feel about all of it.

What I do know is this; that someway, somehow, a series of fortunate events have gotten me to this new chapter. A series of fortunate events helped me find someone amazing, and gave me the sense to hang on when the road got bumpy and the miles seemed infinite. A series of fortunate events presented me with an unconventional relationship that was worth a try, one that's payoff turned out to be more than I ever imagined back then. A series of fortunate events made it tougher just when I thought we'd seen it all, but gave me faith, patience and the ultimate gift in return.

This series of fortunate events turned me into someone, who two years ago, I may not have known. One part of a long-distance relationship, a military girlfriend, someone who tries to puts faith in even what she can't control. 

Someone who has conquered her greatest challenge (for now). Someone ready for that next chapter.