“Life is either a great adventure or nothing.”
I just told my friend that she should look at her impending move as an adventure. Why? This is my experience.
In 1999, my husband came home with the news that we were being transferred to Pittsburgh. I had three small children ages 7, 5 and almost 2. I had never lived more than 5 miles away from my family. Was he kidding? I knew almost everyone on my side of town or at least knew of them. My parents moved 20 blocks away from my childhood home when I was a teenager and I didn’t like it. How the heck was I going to move all the way to the western side of Pennsylvania?
In the beginning, the move was a challenge in more ways than one.
We lived in an apartment for the first five weeks. Everyday, we walked to the Giant Eagle to rent videos, or swam in the complex pool, or drove by our house praying it was almost ready for us to move in. All the while, I prayed for the time to go quickly. Our apartment neighbors didn’t take kindly to our kids banter. I guess when they were little they never ran, laughed, screamed or cried – so sad for them to forget that they once were children. We received a few nasty grams that my husband handled quite mannerly. (He’s not originally from New Jersey so he’s much more patient and professional when it comes to handling such issues. Me, I’m a New Jersey Momma Bear, don’t mess with my kids. (This is where my yoga practice would have come in handy…..breath, breath, breath.)
Gosh, if this was Pittsburgh life, would I continue to look at this move as an adventure?
So many questions ran through my mind.
How was I going to fit in? I had an accent…..not as thick as most Jersey girls but it was easily detectable. I was asked on numerous occasions (far too many to count) if I knew that I had an accent. No, really? Sometimes I just replied, “Oh my gosh, I do.”
People were truly friendly (except for the apartment neighbors) and courteous! It was so hard to get used to. I was used to dodging cars to get across the main drag in our town. In Pittsburgh, drivers actually stop their cars for pedestrians. Who knew that people still did that. At first, I was skeptical and thought they were going to run me over once I stepped off the curb? Nope, I was able to walk across the street without any fear. Amazing!
When they told me my kids were cute, I would hesitate. Did they want to kidnap them? (it’s a running joke in my family that my oldest is the Lindberghe baby – long story). Wait a minute….no….they were sincere. Wow! In New Jersey, we don’t just walk up to people and say their babies are cute. There would have to be some ulterior motive like kidnapping, or you were over 75 or you were just plain nuts.
So, yes, at first I had some trust issues. It is a hard admission to make. But, hey, I was used to people closing doors in my face. Once I was being attacked by geese walking into work and my co-worker closed the door in my face to protect himself. Really? Now, that’s a gentleman and pretty typical in my home state – holding the door open for the person behind you – a rarity. At first it was hard to comprehend. Yikes! People had manners. It wasn’t all about the hustle and bustle and to get ahead of the person in front of you.
We loved our Pittsburgh adventure. It was more than I could ever have hoped for. It brought me back to my childhood. A time when people said hello, held the door open for one another, stopped their cars for pedestrians, and were not consumed with the hustle and bustle of life. We had neighbors we could call friends and family – you remember – the ones who could scold you when you did something bad, take care of you when you were sick or hurt, or loved you like you were their own. It helped me to remember the important things in life.
Our Pittsburgh adventure prepared us for two more moves – one back to New Jersey; the other to Cleveland. Our adventure(s) was a true blessing. Our adventure was a stepping stone on our path of life.
My dear friend(s), please know that your adventure will be a true blessing for you and your family.