Thursday, June 18, 2015

Because I'm a crazy person

I have a decision to make that I've been mulling over for months.  It seems like I've been contemplating it for over a year at least.  I have been trying to decide when to go to Colorado.  Before we moved it was an absolute.  I was going to go back for a visit first chance I got.  We moved, kids started school, Mike started school, and we started our business.  I had hoped to go in late May.  That was the original plan but then it wasn't great timing for a lot of people and the ticket prices were crazy expensive.  So, here I am, still trying to make the decision one way or another and I am really confused about why it is such a hard choice for me to make.  I've thought about it over and over and I think I am getting closer to understanding my feelings and I'm writing them down here in the hopes of making more sense of them.  It is actually a vulnerable post for me to write because it is admitting some feelings and insecurities I don't often share in public.

1.  Finances.  When we first got married I shut down when Mike would discuss finances.  It was always a topic that created anxiety and I would get physically ill thinking about it.  My stomach would tie in knots and I just didn't want to discuss it.  I've come a long way since then.  Now, we have one FHE a month reserved to go over our finances with the kids just so we can all discuss our money and our financial goals and so the boys can see what is coming in and what is going out.  Most of the time I don't have those old anxious feelings about money creep in but occasionally I begin to worry.  We are in a very different financial situation than my family was growing up and we are incredibly blessed to have what we have.  That said, it is easy to get comfortable and forget that we are partly in the financial situation we are in because of the way we DON'T spend our money, if that makes sense.  It gets easy to get lazy in the goals and to think, "Oh, we don't spend a lot of money, we can afford to buy that" and then that thought leads to a repeat of that thought and then a repeat and a repeat and before we know it, we've spent more money on things than we ought to.  I had almost made the decision to go and buy the $500 ticket to Denver only to have a budget wake-up call and realize that we have a lot of things needing our money right now and going to Denver is not a necessity.  Mike says I can go anyway and spend whatever money I need to spend but I know that if I do that we will not be putting money towards paying off our house in Colorado or towards other goals we have right now.  I'd need a ticket to Denver (Colorado Springs would be even more), a car, possibly a hotel, and fun money for playing with my friends.  It would not be a cheap trip.  Mike is right--we are fine financially but honestly, I like not feeling confined by finances.  That old familiar worry of "what if we don't have money?" creeps in and I realize that I'd rather be safe and secure than frivolous.

2.  General Anxiety.  I am generally an anxious person.  I am happy with familiarity and consistency.  I don't like adventure (especially not on my own!) because adventure means twists and turns and new paths and that would make me crazy.  I keep having flash-backs of my one and only trip to New York where I had to catch a train (I'd never even been on a train before) from Philly to New York, then catch a shuttle to the airport and then get my flight home.  I got off the train in New York at Grand Central Station and had no idea where my shuttle was.  I roamed the city for an hour and a half.  I had no money on me and no cell phone.  I was completely lost in a city where I knew absolutely no one.  I had only flown one other time in my life and I was so naive and inexperienced.  A thousand prayers were said in that hour and a half and miraculously the shuttle turned up out of no where and I made my flight home.  I have flown on my own a few more times since then.  I have a cell phone and a credit card and I'm a little better at planning than I was then but even then, flying and rental cars and GPS's and all the details of traveling stress me out.  All that being said, it's not stressful enough to make me not go but being completely honest with my feelings, I'd admit that while the idea of traveling and adventure is so appealing to me and so exciting, when it comes down to it, I am happy to be boring and stay in my comfortable routine at home.  I wish I could change this about me and maybe eventually I will (I'm already a much better traveler than I used to be!) but I have to be honest and admit that I think this plays a part in my conflicting feelings.  It is just easier to stay home.

Aside from my own anxiety about all the details, the boys have been experiencing more anxiety lately than normal.  They have been very concerned about being separated from one of us and worry when we don't get home when they think we should be home.  I know that I would be leaving Mike with two worriers who would constantly ask him if I'm ok and when I'll be home and I'm not sure if they could handle me being gone that long right now.

3.  Friendships.  The support system I had in Colorado was unique.  I've never lived anywhere where I've made friends so immediately and made so many deep connections with so many people.  We all had some pretty deep things happening in our lives and we needed each other.  I went through the toughest time of my life thus far while in Colorado and those friends were a part of that growth and trial and the friendships I made there are sacred and treasured.  I have such dear, fond memories from my time there.  I have been blessed to make some really great friends every where I've lived.  Heavenly Father has placed some really wonderful people in my life and I have always felt so grateful for the friendships I've made in each place I've lived.  Unfortunately, one of the aspects of moving that I despise is how it affects friendships.  Inevitably, time and distance changes friendships.  Life happens and circumstances change and while your life moves on in one way, your friends are experiencing things without you on the other side of the country and eventually, the ties aren't as strong as they once were.  I've tried to keep the friendships that are most important to me even though distance gets in the way.  In many cases I found that I had to loosen my grip on those relationships and admit that I wasn't needed the same way I was previously.  Sometimes it hurts me to feel those friendships slip away.  I consider myself to be a very loyal friend and and care deeply about people and some times I hold on longer than I should.  I've been frustrated and hurt in the past when I realize that people that I care about don't care about me the same way or don't put in the same effort I put in.  I begin to question the relationship and wonder if I'm just being a burden.  All this is hard for me to admit.

Somehow in the back of my mind I worry that this change has already taken place with many of my friendships in Colorado.  I am not sure that I am ready to admit that those friendships that carried me through some of the darkest hours of my life as well as brought me so much peace and happiness, are no longer as strong or as important.  I am worried that if I spend all this money to go visit my friends and things are different, I'll be disappointed and have to admit that I'm no longer needed as I once was.  I'm not sure that I'm ready to realize that.  What if it just doesn't meet my expectations and things are weird and there is just too much catching up to do and too many holes to fill?

4.  Laila.  This is the main reason I planned/plan on going to visit Colorado.  Months before we moved I began to feel so sad about leaving her behind.  It weighed on my mind and I dreaded having to say goodbye.  It felt like an official and final part of losing her.  Her resting spot is sacred to me and peaceful and I often think back to those quiet moments where I sat by her headstone and appreciated the magnificent view of mountains in the background.  I sometimes just long to be back to that spot to feel close to her again.  The last visit was heartbreaking for me and I won't forget the tears, the rain that poured on the drive home, or the emptiness that filled my heart.  But I've recently come to an interesting realization:  I'm ok.  Laila's birthday this year brought me peace and growth.  I realize that I don't NEED to visit her all the time now.  I still want to, but I don't NEED to.  That's a big deal.  I worry that going will bring up the feelings of sadness and emptiness I had when I left.  She has a new neighbor now and I think that it might be good to visit with her neighbor's mom and that will be hard (and probably healing too).  I think I am afraid to admit that I'm OK and also afraid to admit that I might not be OK.  I realized recently that I haven't ever really confronted those feelings of leaving Laila behind.  I sobbed my heart out that day and then haven't really had a good cry about it all since then.  There have been times when I've felt the feelings trying to surface and I've stuffed them down and not let them out and I am afraid of them coming out.  What if I go and they come out and I come back being dissatisfied with where I am or on the flip side what if I go and I come back realizing that I'm ok being where I am?  It seems like I should be happy about that thought but I think I am nervous about that thought.  It makes me confused and not going keeps me from confronting either truth.

5.  Finally, I want to go.  I want to see my friends.  I want to have an adventure.  I want to do something for me.  Adrianne.  Not Adrianne the wife or Adrianne the Mom, just me.  Adrianne.  I want to go to Kneaders or Village Inn late into the night and laugh and cry with my friends.  I want to visit the Denver temple.  I've really missed the temple (we are 3 1/2 hours from the nearest temple).  I miss that temple in particular. I miss the crisp, clean air of Colorado Springs.  I miss the late afternoon storms followed by spectacular rainbows.  I miss Laila's spot.  I miss the sidewalks and the trails all over the city.  I want to pretend I am not a homebody and anxious person and embrace the adventure of going on a trip on my own.  I look forward to doing something for myself before I have to come back and homeschool and wonder if I choose not to go if I'll look back and regret not doing something for myself outside of my children and family.

I'm just confused.  I've thought over these ideas a million times and still, there doesn't seem to be a clear choice for me to make.  I don't think it really matters ultimately which I choose.  Both choices will bring me joy and both choices have the potential to bring me sadness.  I think I just have to make a decision and move forward and I wish I were better at decision making and deciphering which one will ultimately bring me the most happiness.  I just need to decide.

Someone bring me a coin.


The Duke said...

Adrianne, I just read this. I have been very ill for the past 24 hours. I need to call you and talk to you about this post. It was a very brave thing for you to write and I hope it helped you sort things out. I will call tomorrow night. Hopefully I will get to work tomorrow. I really do want to talk about this - it ties in to some of the feelings I've had with one of my situations.

Michelle said...

Hope you are able to work it all out.

lrbodine said...

I can relate to so much of this but especially the place you long to visit! Colorado Springs was a home I needed in my life. Prayers that you make peace with whatever decision you make!