Tuesday, December 29, 2009
My Decade - Part I
This week is not just the last week of 2009 it is the last week of this decade. I don't know why I didn't realize it before. My husband mentioned it the other day and I was like "really?". The end of a decade is to me much like the ending of a novel. We're on those last few chapters you sink your teeth into, waiting for the resolution with excitement and sighing as you turn the final page upon it's conclusion. It's then that you decide if the book was a good read or not. What makes that decision for me, depends on whether it left me feeling enlightened or deflated.
This decade has left me feeling a bit of both.
When the world entered into Y2K, the year of the millennium bug, I was waiting for my divorce decree. I was 22 years old. The year that ended the previous decade had changed me in ways I wouldn't completely understand until 5 years into the next one. Holding on to the hand of a friend who soon became much more I tripped my way into the unknown and rediscovered my path. It had been littered with negativity, abuse and immaturity. I emerged much older then my years.
In 2001, I had been dating Darren for about a year and a half. Our first year together was filled with difficulties not many "new" couples endure or even begin to think about. He watched and stood by as I fought to relearn who I was, what I wanted and where I wanted to be. We fought the demons of a past relationship that had little good about it. He fought my battle along side me. I fell in love with him.
One night we started talking about moving out of the state of NY, away from everything we knew, family, friends, jobs, and everything familiar. We pulled out the map, got online, did research, secured an apartment, gave our two week notices. My family held a moving away party. In March 2001, we moved to Cary, North Carolina.
It wasn't as easy as we thought it'd be, moving away from everything we knew but North Carolina became our home. We met amazing people, AMAZING! We became part of others lives. We made friends, we were active, and we enjoyed ourselves and each other. There's something to be said about up and leaving what's familiar and replacing it with things that are new. You learn things quicker, you learn how to ask for help, how to extend yourself to others and how to be each others support system. We drove back to NY for Christmas 2001 and Darren proposed. Life was getting really, really good.
The beginning of 2002 found us planning our wedding from afar. We had talked about so many different situations as far as where to have the actual wedding. Neither one of us wanted to make our families have to travel down to North Carolina to attend the wedding. At one point we actually talked about doing a beach wedding and having someone do a live web feed so our families "back home" could witness. We finally decided it best to have it where we both started and where our families still were, upstate NY. It was interesting planning from such a distance. It put a lot of stress on us and our families but it came together and our wedding on March 8, 2003 was everything we had hoped it be.
Darren and I both worked at The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. I loved it there. I worked at Davis Library as a Purchasing Assistant. To this day it is the best job I've ever had. I still think about it and wonder who's still there that I know. I wonder if my fingerprints are still somewhere along the many walls and corridors. I wonder if my impression still lingers and if the ones I still consider friends consider me the same. It's there that I rediscovered myself, along the trips across campus, in conversation with new friends, in daily monotonous duties. I knew again who I was.
Moving to North Carolina was one of the best experiences of my life. The fact that Darren and I shared in it together and made our own life there makes it something forever ingrained in us. We grew up there and we learned to truly love each other there. We started talking about making our own family and those talks led us back to the well known corners of our home state. We moved back to NY in the spring of 2004. We were less prepared in our move back then we were in our relocating. We had no place to stay and found ourselves back at my childhood home living with my gracious parents. It took us longer to find jobs here and longer to feel at home. There was a slight period of mourning, as our "home" had become North Carolina and we ripped it from our veins so quickly. Darren and I were both homesick for our new home and in a way, I think we will always be.
In Spring of 2005, still living with my parents, we got pregnant. It was nothing like we had dreamed. We were excited but not thrilled to be "that couple", living at home with the parents and pregnant. We didn't have long to ponder over our less then thrilling predicament because the news that we would get from the doctors would turn everything upside down. Yes, we were indeed pregnant but it was an ectopic pregnancy in my right fallopian tube. Our excitement turned to fear so quickly I couldn't keep my emotions in check. With an ectopic they try different things before recommending surgery. I got two separate injections of a drug called Methotrexate, more commonly used to treat cancer. Methotrexate is supposed to stop the growth of rapidly dividing cells. The levels of my HCG, the pregnancy hormone, dropped indicating the pregnancy was ending but a day after the second injection my right tube ruptured. Darren rushed me to the hospital. The pain wasn't really that bad. I had after all been hoping to be having pain in 9 months not after just 2. We were devastated. The surgery went well but I lost my right tube and was then faced with the difficulty of getting pregnant with just one tube. My doctor advised us not to try to get pregnant again for several months, to allow my body time to heal and get back to "normal". Normal? You're never normal after having a miscarriage. Everything felt different.
Not long after the surgery we bought and moved into our first home. I was happy to have something to focus on besides the obvious. We busied ourselves with projects and paint. We worked our jobs and silently wished to be pregnant and secretly feared the same thing happening again.
Part II will be posted tomorrow. Please come back to read the second half of my decade. Or click here to be taken there.