“Are we really gonna do this? We’re serious? This is really happening?”
“As far as I’m concerned, yeah.”
“Because at some point, there’s no going back, so if there’s any hesitation, now’s the time.”
“No…I think we’re good to go.”
And with that… on a long walk with Dixie through what’s been our neighborhood for eleven years, it became real. No more talking. No more dreaming. No more saving. No more “some day.” It was happening, and it was happening soon.
The following week I was scheduled to attend a meeting of the executive committee at my office. We were meeting to discuss an upcoming reorganization and I knew it would be bad form to not say anything about my plans to leave. If I was really gonna give up my career, I had to give my boss a heads up now…months ahead of when I’d expected to tell him I was resigning. So as we walked that night, I had to know for sure.
There are a million “gut checks” in this process; moments in time where everything stops and you ask yourself “Is this for real?” “Are we really going to do this?”
It’s really exciting when other people are telling you they want to go with you and you should “Go for it!” but there’s a voice in the back of your head that just won’t stop talking. “Are you really gonna do the exact opposite of what every other rational human being does? There’s probably a reason everyone else does that other thing, you know. What happens if one of you get sick? What if you don’t have enough money? What happens if you decide you hate RV’ing? You’ve never even spent a night in one! You have no clue what you’re getting yourself into and you’re jumping without a net. Are you sure about all this??”
In just a few months, every single aspect of our existence is going to change. When the reality of that fact seems overwhelming, it’s not surprising at all.
A couple years ago, we attended our ten year law school reunion. As our old friends recounted what they’d been doing all these years, it occurred to me that nothing had changed for us. Literally nothing. We were each married to the same person, living in the same house, working in the same careers, at the same offices. We hung out with the same group of friends, we hadn’t had children… Hell, we even still drove the same 2002 Nissan Xterra! In ten plus years, nothing had changed for us. But now, instead of changing one or two of those things, instead of moving across the country to take a new job in the same field, or keeping the job but starting a family or keeping the house but starting a new career, we’re jumping headfirst into a whole new life – a life we know nothing about. A life where the only things that will be the same will be us.
But that’s the thing. That’s exactly what gives us the confidence to fight through these gut checks. We’ve got each other. And I’m here to tell you, no one does “co-dependent” as well as Kevin and I.
I often think back to something he said many years ago when we first started dating. I can’t remember the exact context, but he said, “Life has had a way of putting me in the right place.” And it was true. His whole life had led him to where he was at that moment. Plans that fell apart and goals that were never realized had somehow led him to the path he was on. And when I thought about it, my life had worked out the same way. In a world full of people and places and possibilities, we had somehow ended up finding each other and finding our careers and finding our home and making a happy life together. Perhaps if other plans had come together, we would have been just as happy, but we didn’t know, and we didn’t spend a lot of time wondering.
So, as we face these gut checks, we take a deep breath, clasp hands, and jump. We know life will put us in the right place, even if it isn’t the place we expected to be. So long as we have one another to rely on, we know we don’t need the security of our jobs or our home or our things. Because we carry the ultimate security with us.
Plus, we still have our Xterra.