The past few weeks have brought some interesting emotional highs and lows. Really, I should know to expect them, they have been a fact of my life for a while now. I guess I was just unprepared because here I was thinking that things were finally settling down and I was beginning to be able to make a new start in life.
I was in desperate need of getting away from it all for a while, I needed the mental break from dealing with the process of establishing a new parenting plan and figuring child-support and the difficulty of making everybody happy in the meantime. I was also due for a visit with my kids, three weeks without them is really tough. So, I took off on a road trip to visit friends and ultimately end up in Gainesville to spend a long weekend with the kiddos.
I left on a Wednesday and drove down to South Carolina to spend a couple days with my dearest friend Carole and her family. Her baby girl is about 3 months old now, and I had not gotten to hug and hold and spoil her. So, baby Emma got a visit from her Auntie Sharon...and I can't wait to go back to see her! Carole and I spent a couple days going shopping, staying up late talking and reminiscing and just generally having a great time together.
Next stop was Virgina to visit another dear friend. Matt just recently started his new job as a French teacher at a private school near South Boston, VA and he happened to be on break this week. It was a wonderful visit, doing a lot of nothing...staying up late, sleeping in, catching up on life...we did take a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway and also out to Appomattox and into Lynchburg, were we met another very special friend of mine for dinner...Rick and I spent a good amount of time chatting about the old times in high school and where everybody was these days (I'll get up there again soon to see him and his wife and baby). My time in Virginia made me realize how much I really missed it up there.
Then it was on to Gainesville to see my babies. I was dreading this visit for one reason, this was the visit to tell them that I would be staying in Indiana to complete my PhD and that I would see them on a monthly basis and also for school breaks. I think this was one of the hardest things for me to do, ever. After, that hurdle was jumped over, we settled into Becka's home for the weekend and ended up having a decent visit. It was a very stressful visit for me, but I think they will each get better as we all get used to this routine.
This trip happened to coincide with the University of Florida's homecoming weekend and so I took the kids to the homecoming parade and we watched the Gator game together. I also bought them each their Halloween costumes and we played in a park. We went to church and just generally tried to spend some good time together...it was difficult to tear them away from the computer and TV at times, but I'll figure out how to prioritize my time with them a little better for the next time.
Coming back to Indiana was both difficult and easy. I discovered that I really do not enjoy being in Florida anymore, particularly when its almost 90 degrees in October, but coming back home, with no job and having to face the reality of my life was not a pleasant thought either. I had some really tough moments with Mom & Dad, figuring out where we all are in this process emotionally, figuring out how much more we can handle...and I think that we are ready for whatever is yet to come.
I took a drive up to Bloomington to finally meet Dr. Auger and see the campus...I think I'll love it there. Dr. Auger is a wonderful person and I really look forward to working with her over the next few years and the campus is simply beautiful!
I also found a job, well, mom helped me find it. I start tomorrow, working in a daycare center, part-time, but it's a job, I can't turn it down when there are no other offers. I'm building relationships with people in the church, finally getting out to meet people. Dad and I worked on a Habitat build this weekend, good, quality time with other people, something I've been in need of.
So, this past week, I went from feeling like I was floating around with no place to call my own, to finally feeling like I'm taking root in this community and in this state. I think I'll be okay here...it might still take a little more time...but I'll be okay.
Snapshots from the Train to Paris
7 hours ago