That last post was mostly about me trying to boil down to its core a disagreement with my MIL, so that I could attempt to figure out how to deal with it. The long and short of it is that I'm still avoiding the entire situation, because it's just more than I feel like dealing with right now. I am overwhelmed with other stuff, namely a project at work that needs to be completed before I leave, moving hundreds of miles away, and starting a new job.
I gave my notice yesterday. I've been at my job for more than eight years, and it's strange to think that I won't work there any more. I didn't know what it would be like to give my notice at a job that I have long loved and worked so hard at and sacrificed so much for. But in short, it was pure joy to tell everyone that a) I am leaving, and b) where I am headed. I wasn't sad at all. That's how I knew that it is really time for me to move on. I have absolutely no regrets about leaving (well, I haven't started telling my clients yet--some of them are going to be VERY upset, and that's going to make it harder). I think it might almost have been harder to leave if I was going to be working somewhere else around here, but it's such a clean break, knowing that I am leaving not only the job, but the entire area, and going to a job that I have long desired.
I still have about five weeks left of actual work, and then I have about two weeks of vacation time that I'll use up at the end. It will go by fast, though. I have wanted this new job for so long, and worked so hard to get it, that it doesn't feel real that I actually HAVE it and that this day is actually here. I keep reading and rereading the emails from the employer, to make sure it hasn't disappeared, or that I'm not imagining it. It's sort of like continually peeing on a stick once you know you're pregnant, just to see that line appear again and again and again. I am just. . .happy. Really, really happy. I have a wonderfully supportive husband, the best baby ever, and the job of my dreams. (Now I constantly worry that something bad must be about to happen to us, but that's a neurotic post for another day.)
The response from my work friends and colleagues was amazingly positive and supportive. The head of my company said lovely things and was incredibly gracious and supportive about my departure, even though it leaves them in the lurch a little bit. People are excited for us, about the new job and the move, which will in time involve living abroad. People think it's really cool that we are making this crazy leap of faith from our nice, comfortable life here, and doing this thing that is completely different and new. Colleagues have said such kind things to me about my work, and how much they'll miss me.
I have been caught off guard, however, by the response from personal friends and family. It has been somewhat muted. The "congratulations" are there, but aside from my mother, people have a distinct lack of enthusiasm about our new life, although they aren't saying that, exactly. They are sad to see us go, which I completely understand. I don't know why, but I just hadn't expected that people would be so open about how they felt, and their reactions are making me feel a bit guilty. One of T's best friends stopped by last night with a bottle of wine, a man who is normally peppy and full of enthusiasm about life, and the conversation was sort of. . .melancholy. It makes me second-guess our decision a tiny bit (but honestly, I then revert to being really excited--after all, there are all sorts of new-fangled technologies out there that will help us stay close, like email, and Skype, and big birds that fly through the sky and take people wherever they want to go).
My mother is excited for us (although I'm sure she'll be sad to see us move far away), and said that she understood what it was like for me to have worked so hard to get something that I wanted so much. She's able to separate herself and her own feelings about us leaving, and just be happy for us because this decision makes us happy. My sibling is also excited for us, and has already sent me a list of preferred destinations. I really appreciate their support--their ability to set aside their own feelings about how this decision impacts them, to just be happy for us.
I think the thing that has made this so easy for me is that I do have a rather large family. I look around, and I see the choices people have made for themselves, and I have loads of good examples of what I can expect my life to be like if I stay here and take another job here. It would be a good life, a happy life, no doubt, but it would pass by in an instant, and it would be very much like what my life is like now. Life here is familiar, but not especially interesting or unusual. I live in a rather ordinary place where people live rather ordinary lives. Good, but ordinary. This new job will truly be a different way of life on so many levels, and will give me and my family the opportunity to do extraordinary things. There will be hardship and difficulties, as there always are in life, but there will be opportunities and challenges unlike anything we could experience here in our little town. I am scared to leave, but I am more scared to stay. I don't want to wake up in twenty years and wonder where the last two decades have gone, or felt like life passed me by. I want to seize it up and live the hell out of it.