I’m a bit behind on Blogtember, but I wanted to tell ya’ll a juicy, deep, personal story and yesterday’s prompt is just the ticket. So, today I will tell you about a decision that lead my life to take a turn.

I know ya’ll are rolling your eyes and thinking, “oh lordy, how can we hear about the move one more time!? Or worse yet, is that about her crazy 10 months as a Bride?!”
Not to worry, faithful readers.
This is a story you’ve never heard.

The night Justin asked me to move from Charlotte to Greenville and into his home was a complete surprise to me. We had mentioned the thought of figuring something out seeing as the hour and a half drive had worn us down over the past year. I am a creature that loves consistency and routine and the routine that we had settled into wasn’t exactly working for me, and this night was the perfect example of why.

I worked until 7pm that Friday and immediately got on the road to begin my journey South. I called Justin to let him know that I was headed his way only to find out that he had gone out for drinks. Now, call me selfish (no seriously, I know this is selfish, but I’m human, so go with it) but I was operating under the belief that if I was miserable working late and tearing up I 85 so that we could be together (dramatic), then he should at least be at home pining for me over a day old episode of Sports Center.

And, needless to say, he was not.

I pulled into the driveway of the Greenville house to find it completely dark and empty.
Justin apparently made the decision to stay out until I called from the house to say that I had arrived.

I was not pleased.

I maturely sat in the dark and waited for him to get home.
I was ready to pounce as soon as he walked in the door with my best pouty face and list of reasons why his wait-until-Stephanie-arrives-to-stop-my-fun-and-go-fetch-her plan was ill advised.

When he did decide to grace me with his presence, he was wringing his fingers and avoiding eye contact – definitely nervous or guilty, I couldn’t decide which…but I assumed he was wracked with guilt over his decision to have fun without me.
(P.S. don’t ever have fun without me, I hate being left out and it hurts my self esteem. Just invite me along for everyone’s sanity.)

Anyways, I got up to meet him in the little space in between the kitchen and the living room – the lights were still off – which is perfect because when I think back on this moment it’s very dark and dramatic.

Without saying anything else, he looked at me and said, “I want you to move here and live with me in our House. I know it will be tough but I want you here, with me.”

Simple enough.

I wanted to be with him and live in the house that I already considered our Home.

He had me – hook, line and sinker.

Thankfully, at the time, saying Yes really was just that simple for me.
I had no idea what I was getting both of us into and how hard we would have to work over the coming months.

We planned carefully and I was able to give my boss in Charlotte 6 months notice that I was leaving – and that meant I had given myself 6 months to look for a new career in Greenville before I officially moved. We thought that was plenty of time and a good plan, even in a down job market.
And it was a good plan – for a while, at least. I interviewed quite a bit in Greenville – even three rounds at one company – but of course, the six months flew by and nothing seemed to pan out.

Justin assured me that he knew he might be supporting our new little family when he asked me to move in with him but dropping from two incomes to one was quite an adjustment.
I moved to Greenville, sans job or even a job on the horizon, and we hunkered down in our new co-habitation.

One month passed, and then two, football season and then, before I knew it, five months had slipped by.

I was lonely, anxious and bored.

But, above all else, I felt guilty for not living up to the standard set for a 20 something, well educated, independent woman/girl/female. There was this tremendous self induced doubt over letting Justin support me and Macie the dog (whom I adopted, and therefor, at the time, was technically mine and my responsibility. Now she openly prefers Justin and therefor is his responsibility). I think we raise our daughters, and rightly so, to be strong, independent, self reliant individuals who shouldn’t need a man, or any other human, to take care of them.
I believe in that, and plan to teach my children those same messages, but at the time, those ideals made me feel like I was failing every single day.

Somehow, deep down, I knew that Justin couldn’t help me feel better or even understand what I was feeling. As a man, he was proud of himself, as he should of been, that he could support us and maintain our lifestyle by himself. I was, of course, proud of him too, but only if I could put my own feelings aside for a minute. Sadly, I’m not always mature or rational so from time to time, I resented him. I felt like I gave up my City Girl life, in the place that I made my own fresh out of college, all for him…..and now I was trapped at home in the suburbs, grocery shopping and waiting for him to come home from work so that I had someone to talk to.

Interestingly enough, Justin never wavered in his support of me during those months. I look back now and think of all of the ways he tried to be understanding and helpful in the face of my varying emotions. And, to be fair, despite how I was feeling internally, we were really very happy together. We were a team for the first time in our relationship. We had to learn to budget together (we both liked to buy things when we wanted, because we wanted- that went out the window), live under the same roof and communicate as effectively as we could.

And never once did Justin waver.

I hate to admit that I might have entertained the thought that I regretted my decision to move – and even worse, I may have made the suggestion, out loud, that perhaps I should move back to Charlotte, if only to work again (I actually got job offers -plural!- from colleagues back in Charlotte after I moved…I mean, come on!).

I can’t imagine how badly that must have hurt him, but he never once said out loud that he regretted asking me to move in (I’m sure he thought it, and obviously he had every right to).

Eventually, I would go to a temp agency and ask them to free me from my Suburban Purgatory. Just a few days later, I would take a temporary placement at a company and on my first day, the President would offer me a permanent position in his office. I worked there until we found out about our move to Maine and miss the friends that I made there greatly.

When I look back on those months, I know for sure that I fell in real life, for better or for worse, nitty gritty Love with Justin during all of that madness. Despite how often I wavered, he never did.

I was the least shiny version of myself, and in return, he treated me to the best version of himself that he could give.
More importantly, we worked hard, so very hard, to be the best version of Us that we could have been at the time.
Those months built a partnership that I will always know is there for me to fall back on…..
and I hope he knows it too.

And that my friends, is the story of a decision that lead my life (our life) to take a turn.
See ya’ll tomorrow!

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