Before we took off for Chile (post soon!) we celebrated the end of intern year. The last 12, or really 18 months (from when Urology match happened) has been an absolute whirlwind. How we got here was something of a mix of luck and grit on Alex’s part. But we finally feel like we’re settled. And the dreaded surgical intern year? The one where people tell you it will be the worst year of your life? Or that your marriage might not survive? Well, maybe it used to be that way. Or maybe we were lucky-but it wasn’t nearly that bad. It wasn’t easy, and it involved a lot of flexibility and patience, but it never broke us. And I wanted to take a moment to write down how this year really was for us, before time wipes most of the memories clean.
I spent the last week running, eating, and spending time with good friends. Basically, as ideal of a week as is possible (minus the sad lack of Alex joining). Back in the fall, before I knew we’d be moving to the Bay Area I registered for the RNR Nashville Half. So instead of just another half, it ended up being an excuse to visit friends. And so, Wednesday before the race I hopped on a plane and headed back to Music City.
It’s actually a bit more than three months, but time has been sailing away here. Life is good. Really good actually. Alex had an “easy” month at the VA, we got away for our anniversary weekend, I got to spend a week with my Mom and aunts in New Hampshire, I tolerated the debate by splitting a bottle of wine with a girlfriend while Alex was on night call. And now that the weather has settled running has become more enjoyable and I’m sailing through big milage weeks and months. I’ve run nearly 250 miles this month and feel unstoppable. I love that I feel fully integrated into the running community. I’m doing yoga and Barre and feel so strong, and the most fit I ever have. I know it won’t always be this way, but life is just so good right now and I’m relishing it. Not to say there aren’t some stresses, like still having no idea where we’ll end up next year. But hey, nothing we can do about it, so why worry? Everything has always worked out in the end, and it will this time too. Instead we’re just welcoming fall with open arms and enjoying what time we do have left in this city.
For our anniversary we drove 90 minutes east to Cookeville (aka middle of nowhere) and rented this adorable house on Airbnb where we spent the evening cooking and wandering around the working farm.
Airbnb’s are always hit or miss, but this one was perfect. And it was so good to just get away from the city and be closer to nature. Here we replaced sirens, helicopters, and honking with crickets and cows. Which actually, the cows were shockingly loud, though they did quite down eventually. We cooked together, drank our annual Win Win Riesling and just spent time together. Though we’ve adjusted to this life where Alex is gone a lot (and so far? leagues better than anticipated), but we do still feel like we miss one another, even though we see each other most nights. So it’s always good to connect again away from the usual distractions.
The next day we drove to Cummins Falls, which is an incredible waterfall with a short hike where you have to wade upstream to reach it. We read to get there before 10 am to avoid the rush. And we did. While we were there swimming and exploring there were perhaps ten total. By the time we hike out that number had swelled to dozens with loads of screaming kids. We’re glad we listened! Tennessee does well in the waterfall department, not something I ever would have expected.
Perks of adulthood: traveling with your parents and having it be drama free (sorry parents, love, my 12 year old self). My Mom and I met in New Hampshire to spend time with my aunts and get a bit of touristing in on our own. It was a very laid back week, but so good to see family I so rarely to get to (it had been 13 years since I saw some of them last). And after my Mom and I road tripped solo to explore the adorable town of Portsmouth where we ate, drank, shopped, wandered and enjoyed fall (and each other’s company). Or at least I enjoyed the weather as it was my first glimpse into non-sweltering southern summer (it had yet to cool down).
How lucky I feel to have such a strong relationship with my parents that we can travel together and enjoy it! I’ve had so many great experiences over the past few years traveling with them (and double bonus, with my awesome in-laws too), I know this isn’t often the case, and I hear people complaining about Thanksgiving coming up and the turmoil that is family. I’m purely excited for them to arrive.
Those two trips constituted the majority of the excitement for us (well, mostly me) in the past month. I already know I’m going to be sad to leave. Though I don’t love the south, I am growing attached to our lives here, of the friends we’ve made, of the communities we’re apart of. I have a slight fear that I won’t be able to recreate it if we move somewhere new. I was so worried about making friends and being lonely here, but I shouldn’t have been. Making friends as an adult is hard, but its not impossible, and with time and openness finding your community does happen. So, onto fall! It’s going to be an exciting couple of months!
Two months. Apparently that’s the amount of time it takes to move to a new city, settle in, and for it to begin to resemble something like home. Of course, with the knowledge that we’re very likely to leave 10 months from now it’s hard to settle too much. But we’re not about to let our time in Nashville be purely transitional. Instead we’ve dived in, and are throughly enjoying our time here.