Jan 2, 2011

Moving and Growing Pains

I can't pretend that I'm not completely heartbroken about moving.

I have been careful with my feelings this time we went up to Rexburg, this time Skywalker applied for a job. I feel like this is a blessing Heavenly Father is giving us, and that complaining about it is somewhat like my kids complaining when I give them snack and it's not what they wanted that morning. Only bigger. Of course.

I don't know what I'm writing. Anyway... suffice it to say things feel confused, and stressful. Anxiety at an all-time high right now.

I feel heartbroken, saying goodbye to friends. The Bounouses have been my friends, my good friends, during a lot of difficult times, and they stuck by me when anybody else would have shipped me off to the funny farm or stopped returning my phone calls.

I will be very sad to say goodbye to my voice teacher, Dr. Bounous (also friend, and stand-in priesthood help on occasion). Dude, can I just say how much I love this man. I love him, love him, love him and will miss him, miss him, miss him.

I will miss Debbie Bounous as well. She is another kind of friend to me--the one who is motherly and sisterly and whom I can vent ridiculous things to that I wouldn't really talk to most people about. And she has been a stand in mother to my daughter when I was too fractured emotionally or my schedule got crazy.

Her daughter is like my daughter's sister. They are emotionally, sisters. Loli will be heartbroken to leave, and I know there will be rough times for her as she adjusts to the idea that she no longer has Jennie, to play with whenever she wants. We're going to try to set something up like an email account so they can be penpals, but my big worry is that the natural thing will happen--they will grow apart, and loli will have a hard time making new friends. She's pretty shy. She's one of those kids other kids usually like, but I'm afraid she'll struggle for a while.

Skywalker and I will miss the Lovelesses. They have been our sanity these last few years. We've had so much fun, joked and talked and played and it was really sort of like a "relationship" between couples... I don't know how else to explain it. A friendship that developed only between two units of couplehood instead of two people. I have never had that, and I don't have a lot of faith Skywalker and I will have it again, especially not on the same level as the friendship we have with these two.

Dave is hilarious. He's one of my favorite people because he's at the same time un-apologetically imperfect and proud of who he is. Confident, but also willing to admit to needing people. Courntey is one of my favorite people because she is so logical and accepting and just GOOD, like, Good Mormon girl, and yet she knows how to have fun, too. And she's not phased by, or judgmental about, my weird past or by my sometimes lack of function as a parent, right in front of her. How many people in this world are like that?

I will miss my sisters, who are so fun to be around when we do get together... our family culture takes over and we laugh a lot and have our little inside quips and things nobody else really gets. And I won't have them around to check my persecution complexes or tendency to exaggerate... I just won't be as good a person without them around.

I will miss my homeschooling group. THey are such lovely women, so down-to-earth and no-drama (most of the time.) So accepting and intelligent and just... the salt of the earth. I feel at home when I am with them. I feel like I am with people who share nearly all my values and priorities and so I don't have to defend myself at all. And those great kids. My kids will miss their kids.

I will miss my writing critique group. My newest set of friends; hilarious, fun, such a great fit. We all have different writing-related talents, and when we help each other it's so full of fun and happiness and enjoyment, it's almost like a writing support group--a place for people who sit huddled over a laptop, half-hiding the screen from the view of those who might be reading over their shoulder, but secretly have this burning desire to slap their writing all over every billboard and force feed our words to the world. I feel like these are the people who I am intellectually related to. We writers are weird folks. We are. We're sort of like carnival workers--you don't know until you're on the inside how great it can be to be a part of the community.

I will miss my mountains. I have never hiked timp, I have hiked the Y exactly two times. I have never done any camping in these mountains that have stretched over me these last 10 years. I still can't quite believe this. I can't believe I haven't found my special places in these mountains. There's been too much on my plate... I say. But I won't be making that same mistake in Rexburg. I don't want to have any more mountain regrets like the ones I'm feeling right now.

I will miss my Provo. Over the last three years I have been writing an historical fiction about Provo in its early days. I have gotten to know families, whole families with names like Wall and Bean and Baum and Cluff, Haws and Holdaway and Miller and Turner. Every time I walk past an old monument here in town, I scan the fine print for names. And almost every time, I find them, and a sense of happiness and mystery floods through me. A burning desire to get to know these people, and the town they lived in. I drive on the streets that run through the center of town and see the uneven sidewalks and think, what building's foundation lies under here. Was it Stuart's old store? The tithing house? the schoolhouse? the old Seminary Building? I look at the crossed sidewalks in pioneer park and see the crossed, dirt paths, like an X through the center square of the old town-plat map from 1880. I look at where the stream used to run by 5th west, and think of the old city run.

I look at the tabernacle with its collapsed roof and the burn-marks on the walls and what remains of my teenage-magical-thinking causes me to wonder if, somehow, I did that. I'm leaving, and it feels almost like a betrayal.

Already I'm frantically planning, scanning maps, googling like there's no tommorrow to find what I'll need in this new city of mine. I've even got the faint sketches of a plot in my mind, a story I could write about Rexburg, so that I can grow to love it faster, this time. A new writing critique group, a new voice teacher, a new novel, a new homeschooling group--all these are doable.

New friends? I don't know how doable that is. And how quick it would be likely to happen. But I can try. Not too hard--if you try too hard, people don't like you all that much. I have to be casual, do the whole "half smile and look away" thing. I have to keep all the controversial topics that seem to want to leap out of me during every conversation under control. I have to pay attention to faces and tone and make sure I don't offend everybody I meet right off the bat.

There's a James Taylor song: Shower the people you love with love. Show them the way that you feel. Things are going to work out fine if you only will...

this has always been hard for me. How do you tell someone you love them? I tell Skywalker every day, but how do you tell a friend you love them, a teacher, a group of people, without making them feel weird. Unfortunately in our society it doesn't really come all that easy.

I guess that's what a blog could be for.


Dave L said...

What to say in response....

I try not to think about it to tell you the truth. I just don't. As though not thinking about it would somehow make it not happen. And yet the day will come, you will go, we will stay, and time will move on.

I take a large measure of comfort in knowing that truly valuable friendships somehow survive in their own ways and means. It takes more work for sure, but as attested by the effort already given, the time already committed, and the love already invested... well, let's just say that I plan on reaping the benefits of this relationship for a very long time. Skywalker is the best friend I've ever had, and that was and is never something I have given lightly. And in it's own way, you were too. Are too. Will be still. Such is the nature of, as you so aptly named it, this couple relationship. The feeling is mutual.

While I do not look forward to the final goodbye (I am the emotional one here!!!), I really am looking forward to what will become of this. It can only get better because that is what it will be.

I understand goodbyes, but this is more of a see you later, isn't it? Because we will. It'll take a lot more than a move to Idaho to stop me.

All my love, my friends. Truly.

Putz said...

you will not have to say good bye to me since i will be moving to rexburg with you {it will be the same as you being in probo and they are both HAPPPPY VALLLLEYS}AND WHEN i drive up to rexbug i will be driving him up with ,me

Diane Hopkins said...

You will definitely be missed in our homeschooling group, Sarah. Won't be the same without you, for sure! I remember the first park days that you came to...how you told us your story and I was overwhlemed your incredible bravery with life for one so young to have so much courage. And all the nice memories of years together in our group--you are an integral part of it.

Best success on your new adventure! I know you wanted this, I remember when your husband did not get the "new job" a year or so ago, and how disappointed you were. Now it is here! Hooray! So excited for you!

You're still on the email list, and still a member of the group, so keep us up to date on how life goes for you!

Lots of love!

Savannah said...


Your blog is always interesting to read. I'd love to read your novel about historic provo. I'd love to learn more about the place my ancestors lived, and historical fiction is my favorite way to learn. Do you have a place for my ancestors, the Hoovers? They ran the old flour mill. All I really know about them comes from a newspaper article about the mill stating that the Hoover boys were all very good looking. I didn't get that gene... They had dark curly hair and deep brown eyes.

Keep us posted as things unfold for your family in Rexburg.


Rachel said...

Wow. Moving is hard in so many ways. Good luck you. For the kiddo's I recommend you check out the book "Franklin's Bad Day" by Paulette Bourgeois. It is about missing friends do to a move (from the POV of the child who stays behind - it might be a nice parting gift for both kids). Amazon has a lot o kids books on the topic. Of course I cannot find the one that I wanted to recommend which featured children of color. Annoying! I will look a bit more and let you know if I find it! In therapy we talk about having a transitional object which makes saying good by or change easier something symbolic of the time in a certain space or with a certain person. In your case Pressed leaves, picture books may help for you and the children to have as a reference after the change has occurred. Just some thoughts...Good Luck!

NoSurfGirl said...

This is a piece of the email Dr. Bounous gave me in response to this post. I hope he doesn't mind if I post it here... it'll get lost in the annals of my email account otherwise.

I was dealing with this ok until I read your post. Gee thanks.

You have a 'magical' family. It has been my honor to know you and experience life with you. Your vocal studies hit quite a milestone this year. Take it wherever you want.

Not sure how Jennie's gonna cope. Emma's such an elf she will attract friends like a lodestone. Jennie struggles. This will be good for her in the long run, but the short run is gonna suck.

This week's Drabble.

I saw my mom kissing santa
and the reason was suddenly clear
why I'm the only teenager
growing a fluffy white beard.....

I love you, your wonderful kids, and your terrific husband. Please come back soon.


NoSurfGirl said...

Thank you, Dave, Putz, Diane, Susan for your remarks.

I'll look it up, Susan. If they were here in 1858 I've probably run into them in my research! And... if you want to read my manuscript I definitely would NOT object. I don't know how many writers you know, but having someone read our stuff is like... the greatest gift you could give us. Especially if you give us honest feedback afteward.

Rachel: Thank you so much for those suggestions. I'll have to look into them. And making a journal with pictures and clippings is a GREAT idea... maybe we'll do that for a project in our homeschooling this next week or two. Hmmm... now I'm starting to get some ideas...

Margaret said...

WOW! This is big news!! Since I'm not there anymore I guess I won't go through the same thing as your local friends there, even though this does mean that I won't even have the OPTION to see you when I'm in Utah. :(

But I wish you ALL the best in your move, and if only I could tell the people in Rexburg that they are L.U.C.K.Y. that you are all coming to their town...

Linda said...

I predict that you will make new friends almost immediately. I also think you will love Rexburg and never want to leave there... either.

Happy moving! "This too shall pass"