So I/we survived our first week back here in Athens. I'm learning that this is going to be a very interesting chapter in our lives, or simply, quite the learning lesson for me. I can not be more proud of Matt. He is here doing all that he needs to do not only better his future, but to better our future. And really all I'm suppose to do is support him, love him and see him through.
Support and love. Easy. I got this. But never in our planning to move away from the home we already started back in Port Clinton did I think how hard the move might be for me. My focus was on Matt, making sure he was happy with life in Athens. I worried about Matt liking the academics, the people, the demands. I had butterflies for him. But I guess I forgot to stop and prepare myself mentally and emotionally for being away from my family, my job I loved and from Ali (the chica I help care for). I'm not sure I worried about my fear and my navigation of a new place. Sure, I was the normal amount of anxious and even excited. But I didn't prepare for being lonely, feeling like a third wheel (more like a 29th wheel according to the size of Matt's cohort), or the drop in my confidence. Once a place becomes familiar and then becomes home, there is a certain amount of confidence that comes along, letting you know that things are good and things are in order. I was not prepared to loose that. I waited a long time for Port Clinton to become that place for me. I was always mourning my life and friends back in Cleveland, but once Port Clinton became home, my confidence and my love for the area grew.
So I suppose I could apply that same theory to Athens. Stick around long enough and it will grow on me...maybe I'll even leave here in love (with OU. haha. Definitely with Matt). For some reason I can't see that just yet. Currently I am the exact definition of a "trailing spouse", an actual term for the wife that tags along. And until I make my own connections, like real connections, it's going to feel like I'm wondering.
I do believe these emotions have developed so strongly because of my time spent back home and with Matt's family over winter break. I loved being around the people we love! I love the support, the laughs, the love. And with my recent health, I just desire the comforts of home. So in coming back to Athens, I believe I built up a lot of anxiety about how well I will function back in the place where everything seems so 'off'.
I looked back and have thought back to our first visit to OU for Matt's graduate school interviews (a year ago this February). I remember feeling an oddly large sense of peace. I even went home and told people how at peace the place made me feel. Now as I feel all but at peace through out my day, I try to remember that this place has spoken peace to me before. And in the time-line of life, this place once was a highlighted mark in our future. A highlighted, bolded, and exclamation pointed event on our calendars. We once had a count down to our arrival here.
I also believe that this will all get more 'okay' as time goes on. In reality I'm sure it will all be over before we know it. But since I'm in it right now and craving the things from home, I'm working on finding the things I love day by day. And soon enough, this will all probably just be a memory in the story of Matt and Kate.