Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Moving in Circles

dear readers....

every time I sit down to write another post, I am overwhelmed as I don't know where to begin or how to document all the s**t that has gone down in the last 4 weeks. So I simply stare at a blank post before signing out. But I made a commitment to keep my blog up to date and so here I go....

I am trying to remember what I last told you about our housing scenario. To briefly summarise, we have just moved for the 5th time in 10 weeks. No I am not kidding. When Microsoft finished paying for our housing in mid-August, we had to find somewhere else to live. We narrowed it down to 2 apartments- one of which was a 2br,2bath and one a 2br,1bath. The 2/2 was newer and in a better location. But for some reason in which no "reason" could exist, Chad and I went with our intuition which told us to rent the 2/1 apartment which was older and further out.

Well, that's when everything (including us) started to unravel...

my parents arrive on Tuesday morning, as we have planned to drive 8 1/2 hrs to Montana for my cousin's wedding reception.

I pack up everything to move on Tuesday. We move everything on Wednesday. It takes me an hour or so in our new apartment to realise that the place is a dump, only partially disguised by the nice rental furniture that is in here. It was built in the early 70's and absolutely nothing has been done to update it since then. Keep in mind we are paying nearly $3500 per month for this crap.

By Wednesday night, surrounded by unpacked boxes and suitcases and unable to find anything that I need, I have a stunningly obvious realisation that I should never have agreed to drive to my cousin's wedding reception. El stupido. Nevertheless, On Thursday we leave first thing in the morning for Montana. My anxiety levels, already well above average, rise a couple more points. But there nothing I can do so I may as well do my best to enjoy the next incredibly hectic 4 days.

This is my first visit to Montana. My cousin lives in a small town called Kalispell. She is the consulting psychologist at an exclusive and remote academy for troubled teens. If any of you ever saw an episode of "Brat Camp", you'll know what I'm talking about. Anyway, I attended a graduation ceremony at the school and listening to the students and their family members speak of their life-changing experiences quickly dispelled any of my cynicism. It is an amazing place hidden in the Montana wilderness- if any student decides to make a break for it, they even have search & rescue dogs on the premises to hunt them down and drag them back! Apparently this does happen on occasion.

I am overwhelmed by the beauty of Montana, and upon seeing it I immediately understand why they call it "big sky country". It is vast, untamed, and majestic. My cousin lives near 2 beautiful lakes (Lake Whitefish and Lake Flathead) and only an hour or so from Glacier National Park. There is much to explore here, but we only have 4 days so I make a vow to return and stay for a couple of weeks at least.

STaying at my cousin's adorable cozy house and witnessing her incredibly grounded and well balanced life ,well, honestly makes me feel even more unsettled and ungrounded than I already am! I find myself feeling envious of the normalcy she and seemingly everyone else around me is enjoying! I know it takes time to feel settled in a new place and find your community, your niche, but I am feeling rather impatient and want it all NOW please.

on Sunday we say goodbye and pile back in the car (myself, Amelie, Dad, and stepmom Mary Ann) to return to SEattle. The drive is easy and we stop at the Dairy Queen at the halfway mark for soft-serve. Dairy Queen is one of the reasons I am so glad to be home! If there is one thing Americans know how to do really well, it is junk food. I mean it- here we have the world's best ice cream, cookies, pies, cakes, cupcakes, brownies & bars, and any other dessert you can even dream of. And Dairy Queen is THE home of the BLIZZARD. This is soft serve ice cream with any kind of cookie or candy you want mixed into it. It is freakin delicious. But I realise I am diverting sooooo....

We finish our ice creams and then about 15 mins after we get back on the highway we hit bumper to bumper traffic. "What could it be?" we wonder. Must be an accident. Someone must've broken down. Maybe road work. Hmmm, no signs. No, must be an accident. We drive. One hour. No sign of accident or broken down vehicle. Two hours. Still no sign. Three hours. OKay... so maybe it's major road work and no signs. Four hours. AAAARRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!! Four hours of bumper to bumper traffic with my Dad in the passenger seat. I am practically seeing double with angst. In a desperate attempt to calm myself I begin frantically repeating "present moment, present moment" over and over again in my head. Instead of 8 hrs it takes us 13 1/2 hrs to get home. By this time I am practically shaking.

So you know how when you've been on a road trip AND it's taken you 5 hrs longer to get home than expected AND you have your backseat-driver-Dad in the passenger seat the whole time, you really just can't wait to get home flop on the couch and relax??? Well, Chad has been away for the whole weekend with some friends, so when I get home to our new apartment, there are boxes everywhere. Nothing has been unpacked, cleaned, cleared out or put away and I can barely walk through the damn place.

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