Two Years.

Me, in the great room

I actually missed the anniversary date.

That in itself is a sign of progress, I think.

August 10th, two days ago, marked two years since we moved to Florida.

Last year, I marked this date with a resignation and acceptance of homesickness.

This year, I spent the day working from home, my boss and best friend sitting on my living room couch and my two children watching cartoons.  The four of us had lunch at the local Ruby Tuesdays.  The evening was spent watching TV and getting caught up with writing assignments.

The day was entirely unremarkable.

I was sitting in the waiting room of a doctor’s office when I realized the date had passed.  I was updating forms and double checking addresses when I noticed the Emergency Contact.  Adam Avitable.  It had been over two years since I’d had to name an Emergency Contact for my kids and realized that my options were painfully limited.  I had listed Adam’s name because he was the only person I would know in this strange, far away land of winter without snow.

“Huh,” I thought.  “It’s been two years since we moved.”

Moved.

Not “packed up and moved 1400 miles away from everything and everyone we knew”.

I spent months describing our move that way.  It sounded as dramatic as it felt.  We moved away.  From everything.  And everyone.  We left behind. Anything we were headed toward was barely a footnote.

And now, two years later, those same words sound silly inside my own head.  “My God, Britt,” I chuckled at myself as I recounted my earlier dramatics, “you fucking moved.  People do it all the time.”

And they do.

People pick up and pack up and move away.  They move on.  They move forward.  They sprawl and spread and set out on their own.  Because it’s just what people do.

And at the time, it feels like they are the very first ones to take that step.  It feels like life is suddenly one long good bye and no one in the history of people leaving has ever felt good bye quite as deeply as you do.

And then you wake up one day and realize that you are no longer saying good bye.  You can’t remember when you stopped looking back or exactly when this new place became your new home.  Maybe it happened among the working or the commuting or the laundry or the dishes.  Perhaps you missed it among the dinners and the birthday parties and the trips to Disney World.  But all of a sudden, you’re sitting in a doctor’s office preparing your kids for another school year, and you realize – well, shit, here I am.

Here I am.

I live in a constantly messy house that I absolutely adore.  I spend my time between work and family and friends.  I fight with my husband and worry about my kids.  I call my mom for advice on both.  My life is at once totally different and pretty much the same as it was right before two years ago.

I stared at the Emergency Contact box on my paperwork for a moment.

I ran through the list of names I could scribble in it.  Hilly is close and I know she’d drop anything if my kids needed her – and the sight of her would offer them comfort and relief.  Our friends, Courtney and Memo, would also be willing and able to step in for us if needed – in much the same way they will be doing next week to cover my assFaiqa and Tariq, too, could be counted on – so long as she wasn’t giving birth at the time.  A few more names of those nearest and dearest to us ran through my head, and I couldn’t help but smile at the difference that two years had made.

Here I am.

And I am neither alone or lonely.  I’m not afraid.  I’m not looking back.  I’m not longing for what was.

I’m no longer saying good bye.

It’s taken two years, but I’m here.

And my Emergency Contact is Adam Avitable.

God, help me.

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  1. avitable says:

    Do I get any privileges from this responsibility? There should be perks.

    (Best two years ever. In a purely platonic of course the time with my wife is amazing but as far as friends go you are the bestest ever and I’ve loved the last two years way.)

  2. Fantastagirl says:

    Adam – I think the perk is you get to work with Britt…

    Congrats on the two years Britt – you’ve come a long way!

  3. Dear Sweet Baby Jeebus,

    Let nothing happen to the Mr & Miss Britt children while he or she is unable to get to them for fear that Avitable will scar the children’s lives forever with an accidental Avitaball’d click.

    Fearful kisses,
    Me

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing], I’m pretty sure he would be far too scared to show his Avitaballs to my children.

      One of them would mock him.

      The other would probably cut them off.

  4. I was all set to write something sentimental.

    Then I read the last two lines of your post.

    Can’t stop sniggering.

    God help y’all is right.

  5. Oh my. I suppose it could be worse. You could have picked Satan. At least with Adam, you get ice cream.

  6. Lynda says:

    You can always change it to Hilly. :D

    I started reading your blog two years ago.

  7. racheal says:

    Here I am.

    And I am neither alone or lonely. I’m not afraid. I’m not looking back. I’m not longing for what was.

    I’m no longer saying good bye.

    It’s taken two years, but I’m here.

    this may sound crazy but eventhough it was in a completely different context, that post said all the things i was trying to say but couldn’t find the words to…so thank you. i may be a blubbering mess at the moment but they are happy tears…hopeful tears.

  8. marielle says:

    Hrm. I’m glad that you feel like you’re home. I’ve done the move across country thing, and I found home out there, and came back to my “real” home only to find that it’s not at all. There’s nothing really here for me to count on, and I feel, tonight, like there’s nothing good my being here has brought to anyone.
    And I don’t know why reading this makes me feel better, unless it’s because at least I know that when you get somewhere good you know it, and it further solidifies my need to get back to the home I found when I left my “real” one.

  9. Victoria says:

    In two months, I am doing the same. Leaving everything I’ve ever known. It is amazing how unstable I feel already. My roots are so firming planted in my small town. I know in my head that we will be okay, better than okay, we’ll thrive. But my heart, oh my heart….

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Victoria, it has been a bumpy ride. I cried when we closed on our houses back home. I cry at Thanksgiving and on birthdays.

      But yes, you will be OK.

      And good for you, by the way, for doing it despite your heart hurts.

  10. CP says:

    has it been that long? Lord, it seems like you just did this yesterday.

    I want to know who Adam’s emergency contact is. I fear for them.

  11. sudobeer says:

    congrats britt. it must have been very hard, and you are a strong person. you make it so easy!

    congrats again!

    • Miss Britt says:

      @sudobeer, hahaha, thanks – but if you dig through the archives, I think you’ll see I’ve made a lot of really easy stuff look OMG SO HARD!

      I tend to do that. ;-)

  12. Dawn says:

    I love everything about this post, and I love that Adam wrote “(Best two years ever.) and I love how much you two best friends love each other. LOVE!

  13. Maria says:

    This is so cool.

    I need to read back (or just chatter with you) because I want to know how you ended up here.

  14. Robin says:

    {almost sprays coffee on screen}

    Aw, Adam’s just a big teddy bear. Kind of a big kid himself. Big kid with some questionable photography habits, mind you.

    My mom considers him a “nice young man.” What she doesn’t know…

  15. Becca says:

    I am glad you feel like this is home. I moved 3 years ago, and while I know this is home I think C has second thoughts about that.

  16. Hilly says:

    1.) It’s really good for me to read this post today because it helps me realize that in some time I too will be able to be more “over the homesickness” and all the good stuff that goes with that.

    2.) Your house looks so funny all empty and without the beautiful paint job.

    3.) Congratulations on being here two years and having more emergency contacts (and friends) than you know what to do with. :)

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Hilly, I actually thought of you when I wrote this.

      Specifically:

      “Here I am.

      And I am neither alone or lonely. I’m not afraid. I’m not looking back. I’m not longing for what was.

      I’m no longer saying good bye.

      It’s taken two years, but I’m here.”

      I hate to think you might be 18 months away from a real sense of peace – but it helps ME (because, you know, it’s all about me) to remember that it does come. Eventually.

      And yeah, I know, not divorce. But you know what I mean. :-)

  17. Robin says:

    I long to move away someday, hopefully soon. I need to branch out, I feel very stuck here.

  18. I’m glad you are “home”.

  19. Nenette says:

    Congratulations on the 2 years and having more contacts you can count on. :)

  20. man, your home looks like just a house with white walls and no furniture. i am amazed at the difference.

    britt, i am so happy for you that you are at ease in your transition to florida life.

    adam would be a fantastic emergency contact. blood, guts and porn don’t faze him considering the things he’s seen on the internet. and he’s such a good friend that he would drop everything for you. even his pants. wait, what are we talking about again?

    p.s. you gave me chills with: And I am neither alone or lonely. I’m not afraid. I’m not looking back. I’m not longing for what was.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @hello haha narf, it’s crazy, isn’t it? I keep staring at that brand new carpet. It’s so… CLEAN. And LIGHT.

      I forgot it started out that color. LOL

  21. Shash says:

    I’m so glad you are here. And I’d be happy to help you guys out antime you need.

    Two years? It seems like you have been here longer.

    xoxo

  22. Finn says:

    Unremarkable? It was MY BIRTHDAY. Unremarkable my ass.

    Anyway, I’m glad you’re home, no matter how long it took you to get there.

  23. Lizzle says:

    It’s awesome that you got through the anniversary with just a regular day! Congrats! Now you know you can make it anywhere and make an extended family for your kids.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Lizzle, “Now you know you can make it anywhere and make an extended family for your kids.”

      Oh my God, exactly. You just summed up perfectly the number one reason I wanted to move in the first place.

  24. ali says:

    you mean this might be me in two years?!?!

    (I hope Miss sugarpants isn’t reading this..because if she is…I’M COMING BACK TO CANADA SOON, LADY!)

    (HAH)

    • Miss Britt says:

      @ali, well, maybe. Although you have family and stuff around you and you’re not in a COMPLETELY new place – so it might be you in two months. ;-)

  25. Kimmad says:

    Oddly, we moved to the same area at the same time, but from different parts of the country. So, I’m right there with you, and can’t imagine it any other way.

    Of course, I don’t have avitable as my emergency contact. We couldn’t all be so lucky. :)

  26. Samantha Bennett says:

    Well I’m glad you moved here! (Not particularly brilliant for my first post but it will have to do.)

  27. Issa says:

    It’s funny to read this, since i just realized the other day that the two year anniversary of us picking up and moving 1200 miles came and went without notice. Maybe it takes two years to find out that you have made a new home?

    Happy two years.

  28. All big changes take time for adjustment. We’re such an instant-gratification society that we forget that even though we want it NOW it doesn’t always happen NOW and that includes our minds’ adjustment to something as big as leaving our homes, leaving our loved ones, leaving our comfort zones. It takes a while for our minds and bodies to again deem a zone as comfortable.

    Glad you’re there, hon. :)

  29. whall says:

    But he’s not a beneficiary, is he?

  30. muskrat says:

    My mom would be appalled by everything that is Adam Avitable.

    So, when’s the move to NYC or Chicago?

  31. Yay!

    This is exactly how I feel about my divorce, the five-year anniversary of which slipped by me without notice last week. Feels great to move on, huh?

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Lynn @ human, being, I think that feeling applies to pretty much any big change/letting go of something old.

      Glad to hear you’ve moved on, too.

  32. SwanShadow says:

    I would think that children + Adam Avitable = an emergency waiting to happen. :D

  33. As I’ve told you before, your words have major impact on people. That’s what philosophers do. So anyway, I was sitting here this morning thinking about Jane and her divorce and she and I packing up her house in a hurry because the closing has been moved up 6 weeks and her estranged husband is out of town for 2 weeks and it is better to do all of this sorting a new life without him anyway and her working on her resume and heading to NYC next week to set up interviews and then take off and leave for a whole new life. Packing up and going. Because that’s what people do. YOU said it. Your post today actually soothed me. It did not make me think I will miss her less or worry less. No, worrying is what I do and I’m awesome at it. Ask anyone. And miss Jane? She’s my baby. I will miss every molecule and syllable of her. I will miss how she laughs at Dlisted and how she is impatient with me when I tell her that she could write like that. Because she is THAT funny and THAT brilliant and she can. People pick up and pack up and move away. You said that, too. And I know this, but maybe I just needed to hear it from someone else young and beautiful and brilliant and full of dreams who needed something else and something different and SOME THINGS that aren’t home anymore. Home as they know it. MORE LIKE WHAT YOU SAID… headed TOWARD something. My heart is all at once breaking and soaring at Jane’s move toward something, and until this moment and your words, I guess I just was thinking as a mom and not a young woman with dreams and goals and even wanderlust. Life is a festival, a swirling festival of colors and sounds and tastes… exactly what I want for my children. But she’s my baby. I know I will wake up one day and be no longer saying good-bye, or preparing for it, and I will have embraced Jane’s new home, new world, new place that is hers and hers alone. But I needed to hear it and see it and feel it and you gave me your words. It is remarkable that words come wandering into a life and into a heart and they change everything. And sometimes the speaker or writer of the words doesn’t even know. I know. And I hope my stream of consciousness encounter with you this morning makes you know how powerful you are… and brilliant and beautiful. And, of course, philosophical. Thank you… Love, Sharon

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Sharon – Mom Generations, oh, Sharon. I know I emailed you, but just wanted to say again – my heart is with you and Jane. The position you’re in – that my mom was in – of having to let go while still being happy for her… it’s a hard one.

  34. Sarcastica says:

    Yay! I’m glad to hear you aren’t missing the things you left behind, and instead have made a home there :)

    You are a brave soul putting Adam down, haha just kidding I know he’d do anything to help a friend ;)

  35. Mik says:

    Two years, time flies indeed, I think nearly eleven years ago I was in the UK thinking “am I actually going to leave everything and move to another country,” I do miss the UK but I have enjoyed eleven of the most awesome years.

  36. Poppy says:

    Weird, it seems like yesterday.

    But, in seeing the date on that photo, wow… life really does change quickly, doesn’t it.

  37. Faiqa gives Av her password and Britt gives him her kids. Dun dun dun!

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