Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Happy New Year

September has always been a much more significant time-progressing-marker for me than January. With my birthday, and new school years, I've always identified more with September as my marker for new beginnings.

The September I turned 6, with a foam mattress rolled up across the floor of the car, we moved to Minnesota. I remember riding cross-country with my feet in the air, and head on that rolled up foam mattress. We arrived in our new town when it was dark, only to find out that the house that my parents had planned to rent had been sold, and we moved into the Motel 8. I remember waiting in the car while Mom ran into Sylvester's, which we later dubbed "the broken junk store," to buy me a birthday present. I remember a stinky house, with no furniture once we got out of the motel. I remember that present mom picked up from Sylvester's was a white long t-shirt with a tall tall hamburger on it. It became my favorite shirt, and I think it is why hamburgers are my favorite food. I started school, the bus was the scariest part of that, but having to ask for help tieing my shoes was pretty terrifying too.

The September I turned 11 we moved to the "new house." Just across town, but it meant I had to start riding the bus again. I was terrified. As a kindergartner I had to ride the bus (because we lived in that stinky house out on Pokegama). I had to transfer buses. One morning before the sun was even up the transfer didn't work, and I sat on the front lawn of the wrong elementary school convinced that I would die there with my parents convinced that I was kidnapped, and it was all their own fault for making me ride that stupid bus. The bell rang for the wrong school to start, and I sat on that lawn until a girl from my branch saw me, and got me some help. Needless to say, being a fifth grader was not enough to erase my fear of buses, especially with the necessity of a transfer. The summer before this move is where my hatred of macaroni and cheese stems from, as that menu for lunch...daily. Macaroni and cheese. Macaroni and cheese with peas. Macaroni and cheese with hot dogs. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. The move was ultimately very good for us. The ONLY thing we missed about the "hospital house" was the laundry shoot, and basement playroom. But my eventual own room quickly erased any pinning wishes to lower buckets of barbies from the second floor all the way to the basement to be exchanged with something else that fit in an ice cream bucket.

The September I turned 19. My great acting skills, and unrealistic idea of what I thought I was supposed to be feeling led to a pretty devastating first few days--really week. I was terrified of my roommate (who ended up to be wonderful.) We moved in, I got a poorly thought out job in the cafeteria, we had one last lunch as a family in said cafeteria, and my family drove off, with my purse. This was in the days when only Californians, and drug dealers had cellphones so I ran to the only places I knew on campus, the bookstore and art museum. Of course they weren't there. All of my money, and IDs were on their way to Idaho. I couldn't buy books. I couldn't get my student ID. I couldn't do anything that I had convinced my mother that I could do on my own. After a comedy of errors, I did get my purse back, and I did start my freshmen year with no lasting damage. On the first day of class, my roommate and I, who had the same first class, left an hour early. She asked for directions which made my estimation of needing an hour to get there way wrong, and we sat in an empty science lecture hall for 45 minutes alone feeling pretty silly.

The September I turned 22 I was engaged starting my last year of college. I was too in love to realize that being engaged meant everything in my life would change in a few months. It was the easiest of all the new beginnings because I was lulled into the comfort that this new beginning was more of a preparation period, little did I know what that year had in store, and that was a good thing, because I wasn't scared at all.

The September I turned 23 I entered the land of the full-time "real" job people.

The September I turned 24 we bought our first car, and entered the land of real-life grown up bills.

The September I turned 26 was our move here, that officially happened in August, but in 10 years it will have happened in September in my memory. We've been here for two full years. Those first weeks we were settling into our new home Justin kept telling me that this was my mission. It reminded him so much of his with the markets, and humidity, and diversity, and stinks. It was going to be the thing that stretched me the most, and challenged my faith, and was so unrelated to what "normal" life had been for me that I would come out of New York as if I had served a mission. I had nothing to compare it to, nothing to prepare me for it. I spent months dealing with panic attacks and constant anxiety. Well, its been two years, and I am ready to be released, the panic attacks have mostly disappeared, and the constant anxiety is just a part of life now. I'm ready to apply what I've learned and start my life.

This year I've got this baby on the way. We haven't made any plans for my birthday, other than if we are home Justin is going to make me some chocolate mousse, and if I am in the hospital he is going to buy me a raspberry cheese cake to keep in my little fridge. Praying for this baby to come has more to do with my desire to start my new year, than any comfort issues. I want him here so that we can get into a schedule, and stop feeling in limbo. I want him here so we can stop waiting. I know this could end up biting me, like my pretended over-confidence that lead to a week of purselessness, but I'm ready to START my new year, not just plan for the unplannable. Justin is starting his last (if all goes as planned) year. Reuben and I will have to learn how to juggle the life we've established with the addition. And just when I thought I had gotten the swing of being a mom in New York I'll have to learn how to do it with an infant.

I'm terrified.

That seems to be the way I react to the biggest of new beginnings.


Mindy said...

Every time we drive by your hospital house, I say to Chad how horrible it is that they tore down such a nice house to put up a parking lot. There are not very many historical homes or landmarks left there anymore.
I bet the metro isn't any better than school buses.

Kevin said...

Great, concise personal history. I feel like I know you a little better.

Tammy Lorna said...

Great entry brecken, really well written and I enjoyed reading it. If I think back, you and I first became friends in a September too - that's funny :)

My new year has always started in January, because that's when everything ( including school) ticks over down here, but it did get kinda upside down when I lived in Provo. I guess most of my BYU beginnings (except for my very first one) are in September too :)

hope you're feeling good again today.
Xo Tammy

Lark said...

You were born the second September of you dad’s graduate school experience in Colorado.

One of the big reasons we moved from the Pokegama Lake house to the Hospital house in town was to get you off the school bus. Your mother had grown up with a fear of the school bus.

Tell Mindy the Hospital house was not torn down but moved about 7 miles down River Road.

We paid to mail the purse overnight from Idaho. Thinking it would get held up in BYU mail we sent it to Aunt Susan’s brother who worked on campus. He left it at his house for that week You will never know who upsetting that was to your worried mother.

Happy Birthday this September to you and the baby!

Sandy M. said...

I have no trouble believing that you will manage everything brilliantly... I'm sure of it - look at all you have got through brilliantly so far :) And you know that you are never alone.
I hope you get your chocolate mousse!

JoJo said...

Man you are such a great writer, Brecken. And everyone is afraid of change. Okay, at least I am. :) But you are brave for ADMITTING it!