Friday, December 31, 2010
Looking back at where I was last New Year's time, and where I am now, is really sort of mind boggling.

This time last year, when I had to sit down and name this blog, I knew that I was about to undergo a lot of change. So I decided to call it 'Third Time's the Charm.' Not, as a certain Crazy Ex of Future Husband's alleged, because I was giving him a third chance, but because this is the third time I've had a big, life altering change.

A lot of my past blogs (and before that, diaries) have complained about feeling stagnant or lost, not really knowing where I was going or why or who with. When I was 11 years old, my family's home burnt down on New Year's Day. Since then, it's always been a strange day for me. Not so much a holiday, but more like a day of remembrance. Like when a loved one passes away. When the house burned, we lost literally everything. There were a few things we were thankfully able to save; some of my cousins dug through the rubble and found my parents' wedding rings, the contents of my mother's cedar chest (her wedding dress included), and the family photos the firemen grabbed off the wall when they realized we weren't home. We lived in a hotel for a while, then bounced around with relatives until the insurance company got us an apartment. The people at our church donated clothes and toys for us, but really, all we had left from before was what we had when the house went up in flames; each other.

Eleven years later (and funnily enough, the fire marking the middle point in my life), my family fell into financial ruin. We'd tried to keep our heads above water, but my mother and I got laid off within two weeks of each other. Me one week before Christmas, and her one week after. Only a few weeks earlier, knowing we were living paycheck to paycheck and fed up with Phoenix's price and weather, we'd had a family meeting and decided to move to Tulsa. We'd been through the city before on a family road trip, and fallen in love with the area. The cost of living was less than half of Phoenix's, and the economy and job market better. So when Mom and I were both suddenly jobless, we decided that instead of moving to Tulsa in the Summer of '09, we'd go right then. So in early January (again), we decided that it we'd start over. Again.

The two years I spent in Tulsa were some of the happiest of my life. I made friends, I made and saved money. I paid for two vacations entirely by myself, as well as helping support my family. I had a job I loved and finally lived in city I liked. I felt like I had finally found a home. But as everything started falling into place for me financially and personally, I found myself thinking more and more of Future Husband. At that point in time, he was still The One Who Got Away. Or rather, to him I was The One Who Got Away Because I Was A Stupid Git. We hadn't spoken to each other since May of 2007. As more and more of 2008 passed by, I found myself missing his conversation and company, and remembering all the fun we'd had together, rather than the heartache and sleeplessness and weepy self loathing he had caused me. Believe me, there was plenty of that, but that's not what I found myself thinking of in quiet moments. I missed him. I hated myself for it, and looked for answers in the bottoms of bottles. Because of the internet and our circle of mutual friends, I was able to keep tabs on him from afar. So when I found out in October of 2008 that his band would be playing a show in Tulsa in December, I seized my opportunity. I thought I might get some sort of closure out of it, but all it did was rip the stitches out of a wound that was not yet healed.

The rest, as they say, is history. Nine months after that, we were a couple. And I was faced with another big decision- try and tackle this incredibly significant relationship long distance (as if we hadn't been over enough speedbumps), or move to Seattle? Future Husband had said he was willing to quit his band and move to Tulsa, but I knew that he wouldn't be happy, and that he, G and D would miss out on something great. (Now that I live with them, and vicariously reap the benefits of a functioning band, I kick myself for not trying harder when I was in a band as a teenager. We could have been good, too, and we weren't, because I never took it seriously enough. One of the few regrets I carry.) I desperately tried to think of a way that things would work if I stayed in Tulsa, but there was just no way. Future Husband had mentioned marriage only five days into our romantic relationship. It surprised me, but the idea felt right. (That was even more surprising.) So I decided to leave behind everything I had worked to build up over the last two years, and move to Seattle, leaving behind the job I loved, The Bestest, my home, and most importantly, my Family. All for love.

So now I've started over for a third time. I'm hoping that this is the last time I will have to change everything about my life and begin with nothing. It probably won't be, but I sure hope it is. I like the idea of building a life with Future Husband, and slowly accumulating and accomplishing all of the milestones that couples pass.

I love lists, so I'm going to make a list of all of the crazy/awesome things that have happened to me over the last year.

-I moved to Seattle, a city I probably would have always wanted to visit, but never would have.
-I went to (or through) 18 states that I had not been to before, leaving 18 continental states that I have yet to see. (I'd already been through 12 of them.)
-I visited New Orleans twice.
-I became formally engaged.
-I lived in a van for 7 months.
-I visited three foreign countries, and got my first stamps in my first Passport.
-I was a bridesmaid for the first (and probably only) time.
-I've made new friends all over the country (and one in France!). Seriously. My facebook list is awesome.

And as I've been reflecting over this for the past few days, thinking of what would go on that list, I've realized that though I worry about things; like planning the wedding, and money, and being able to tour next year, I don't feel stagnant or lost anymore. I don't worry about not ever doing anything with my life. I thought that I felt like myself in Oklahoma, and undoubtedly without those years I wouldn't be who or where I am now. For the first time I can remember in a long time (honestly, probably since my pre-fire childhood), I finally feel like myself. I feel completely comfortable in my own skin, in my own life. I don't find myself yearning for things I don't have (except money) and comforting myself with the idea of 'someday.'

All of my somedays are happening.


VoxNocturna said...

Future so bright... gotta wear sunscreen!

Sara Louise said...

What a wild ride you've had. Having your house burn down must have been a truly horrible experience. It's one of my biggest fears and to know that you had to endure it at such a hard age is heartbreaking. But, I am one to believe that everything that we go through sets us on the path to where we end up (like you finally with your fiance and in Seattle), so go through the crap we must.
Thanks for letting us into your past like this.
Bonne année Lori, wishing you nothing but love and joy for 2011! xo

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During this course of study, you will come to learn much about the strange eating, sleeping and mating habits of the Instrospective Lori under stress. We will observe as she moves halfway across the country to start a life with her own Captain Wentworth, takes a year off of work to pursue a writing career, and incessantly references Jane Austen.
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