It's impossible for me to believe that a month ago we were having the time of our life in Europe, and that only two weeks ago we were finishing packing up our beloved apartment and getting ready to bid adieu to so many of our friends and family in Chicago. I have little concept of time these days. Tuesday is no different than Saturday and I couldn't tell you if we've been here for days, weeks or months (well I'd have to think about it first).
We arrived last Tuesday afternoon and since then we have spent most of our time unpacking, spending time with friends who passed through town last weekend, and visiting with my sister and nephew this week. So if you're wondering how we're adjusting to our new life it'd be almost impossible to answer. So far so good, but this isn't normal life yet. The reality hasn't quite sunk in.
Adam had his first day of residency yesterday and is on his first overnight (30 hour) call today. Nothing like jumping right in. His rotation this month is at the Medical ICU at Harborview (similar to Cook County in Chicago). He's overwhelmed and nervous. He is responsible for patients in a way he never has been before and that surely is a sobering, yet empowering thought. I am enormously proud of him and loved seeing him come home from orientation one day with his new, full-length white coat embroidered with Adam Johnson, M.D.
His life is full and structured and mine is anything but. I have kept busy and distracted with friends, family and fun and haven't started thinking about the job search or really accepted the fact that I am unemployed. Yikes. I keep saying I need to give myself a grace period, and extend myself some grace. I know it's true, but it's hard to live in that and not feel like I'm just making excuses. The job search and all its stress and insecurities will come soon enough. I could be convinced to take some time off this summer, but once the bills start coming in the sense of urgency will arrive.
We miss Chicago. I'm not crippled by homesickness, yet. I live somewhere in the tension between sadness and loss and hopefulness and expectancy. I think that when all is said and done, when we've uprooted our lives and driven across the country with all our belongings in the truck behind us and our cat in between us, and arrived at our new 'home' that we'd never seen and could only find thanks to the wonder of GPS and Garmin, that being OK is more than I could have safely hoped for.
I did experience a strange sensation on our trip. The further west we got, the more I felt at home. I loved every mile of the scenery that rolled by. The plains, the badlands, the foothills, the mountains. It's all achingly beautiful in my eyes. The west is where I belong and I believe that soon it will become my home. It hurt to the very core of my being to leave our life in Chicago, and the longing is far from subsiding. When we passed the junction of 94-E and 90-W somewhere more than a 1000 miles away from Chicago I wanted nothing more than to take the exit and head back. I may have if we would have been able to resume life as normal, if our apartment and jobs were waiting for us. I praise God that they are not, and that I wasn't faced with that decision. We were led here and in the midst of all the newness and unknown there is peace and there is hope.
So that, my friends, is our update.