Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Travellog: Ohio to DC

Open roads and clouds in Pennsylvania
In many ways we feel like we never left. Even though our stint here over three years ago was short, it was gritty and real and left deep impressions on us and our marriage. If we gained some staying power in Italy, we laid our bedrock in Washington DC.

Only 72 hours after saying "I do" I was thousands of miles away from anything familiar. My life felt completely new and foreign. I was a wife now and trying desperately to figure out what that meant for me, for my identity, for my role. I was trying to make the best home I could and look for a job while writing hundreds and hundreds of thank you notes. I was grappling with many of the newnesses that newly weds do but letting much of it fall away as I focused on love and commitment and making dinners without a kitchen. Soon we were both working long hours, living in a place a little rough around the edges, and finding out in a very real way, that we were each others' new everything.

I was thrown in. Sink or swim.

I think we came away sailing.

She kept a small library within reach for the whole drive.

About three hours outside the city we hit traffic, and rain, and a text message that made me angry. I wanted to drive. Fast. But instead we rose and fell with the hills and saw mostly red brake lights as we inched (mile-ed) along the highway. It was the darkest point of the drive. Mike patiently sat by my side, probably wishing he was the one behind the wheel and not his raging wife.

As we ate dinner with family Sunday night they asked about the drive, about which point was the worst and whose fault it was. "It was Paige's wasn't it" they said, jokingly (intimating in their sarcasm that the suspected-culprit, Ada, most likely caused the uproars in the car). Mike and I turned to one another, "Yeah. It was Paige." "It was me!"


After filling up for the last time I let Mike drive. Because of the traffic, my behind-the-wheel time was less-than therapeutic and handing over the reigns gave me time to close my eyes and find my inner-adult again.

By the time we got to Constitution Avenue I was calm and any sadness or worry or anger I felt faded as the memories surfaced, one after the next, of being in this city as a newly married woman—walking home from the movie theater and wondering if we were lost yet; getting caught in monsoon-like rain and buying new shirts so we wouldn't have to wear our wet ones all night; going to church for the first time at the church on 7th; my first Eastern Market breakfast; riding the bus the completely wrong direction; feeling like a pioneer. My heart felt so big and so ready to do it again.

I love this city. I want to make it home again.

Helping unpack her things

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