As I began to type, a rush of thoughts and feelings hit me like a big wave. Feelings of disbelief, awe, and maybe even a little bit of pride. Disbelief that 365 days could go by so quickly, awe that we were blessed with such a wholesome experience, and pride because I am genuinely so incredibly proud of Lucas and I for conquering this New England adventure in stride.
About a year ago, Lucas and I were packing up the Rav with what was left of our belongings (and Sherbert of course!), preparing for a road trip across America. About a year ago, Lucas and I were heading to Massachusetts, and turning the key to our new apartment door, seeing it all for the very first time. About a year ago, Lucas and I were two military newlyweds starting their lives as the Swanson’s, 3000 miles away from the only place they’ve ever called home.
Wow. 1 year ago.
A year ago... I would’ve told myself that this was going to be your next greatest adventure. That you were going to learn how to live somewhere new. That your job was going to let you work completely remote. That you were still going to go home to Washington, actually three times for about 30-days each trip (basically, enough times that you won’t even feel homesick). That you were going to proudly buy your very first house, happily creating a New England home with your incredible husband.
A year ago… I would’ve told myself that the family and friends who mattered most won’t be letting distance come between your relationships. That you were still going to plan a delayed wedding reception even from across the country. That many of your loved ones will be planning to visit you during Year 2 (now that covid-19 vaccinations are available). That technology will allow you to stay as connected as ever.
A year ago… I would’ve told myself that establishing a daily routine and new habits will be difficult. That learning how to lean on only each other, in a state where you know no one else, will be new. That you’ll be scared to drive on unfamiliar streets and busy highways for the first year. That when you do return to Washington, you’ll have loved ones who feel entitled to your time, and they’ll even meet you with guilt and shame if you don’t see them more than twice during your visit.
I’m choosing today to write about the glamorous and the raw. I’ve had some friends and family members tell us, “Moving was so easy for you guys!” While there could’ve been many obstacles that would’ve made our journey more difficult, I will never claim that it was easy. Lucas wasn’t even home from Afghanistan for 60 days before we learned that we were moving to a new state, only 1 month after our wedding. We uprooted the only life we ever knew to drive to unfamiliar land, letting go of prior dreams and plans, all during a global pandemic.
The military lifestyle isn’t for everyone. But I am so very proud of the growth we’ve experienced individually and together, in only the last year. Although we’ve had many proud moments since moving here - no, moving was never easy for us. Even the strongest people break down sometimes. But the difference is that we choose to break quietly, intentionally rebuild with the support of one another, and always, always move forward.
I truly believe that this mindset has been the key to our resilience in the last year, and it’ll be the motivation needed to make the next couple years just as beautiful as the first.
Boston - you’re not too bad after all ;)
Cheers to more New England adventures!
Storytelling by Gen
Travel diaries from explorations and adventures.