Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Deja vu, all over again......

I had an odd thing happen to me today. I had a sort of reverse deja vu moment. Instead of feeling like I've experienced something before, I felt like everything was new. I was driving a very familiar road to take my son to his community college classes. He had promptly fallen asleep when we got in the car (he does that a lot these days), and I was driving along listening to the radio. All of the sudden I got the weird feeling. I felt, not like I was lost, but like I was driving roads that I didn't know well. The road, the traffic, the trees all seemed unfamiliar and unusual. Like I'd just moved to this area and it was still new.

The experience left me thinking of what it's like moving to a new place, learning all the streets, finding out where the grocery store is and the mall. It also prompted memories. Memories of when I moved to North Carolina 25 years ago without knowing a soul. I was single, twenty-six and had been divorced about two years. I finished college after my divorce and was fortunate to find a job in my field during the recession of the early 80's. I moved into an apartment, started working for EPA, and learned my way around.

Today I remembered how it felt, driving alone on all the new streets, learning the look of the trees and the shape of the skyline, finding the laundromat, the dentist, the Jiffy Lube. I was starting over, completely, with nothing familiar. In the previous two years my marriage had ended, my best friend moved to California, I'd had to give up my horse, and my dog had died. My dad was terminally ill with cancer and he and my mom were moving to the mountains of NC. There was literally nothing left for me back in Delaware.

I am an extrovert, but my job involved a lot of quiet work, alone in a dark room looking through a microscope. I also spent my weekends alone, often walking the mall, looking and not buying because money was very tight. I did invest in a health club membership because I liked to be active. I usually worked 7:00 am to 3:30 pm, and then I went to the gym for a couple of hours. I did start meeting people, mainly from work, and I visited several churches.

A little over a year after moving to NC, I met a young man at a young adult Bible study. Three weeks later we were engaged, six months later we were married. Over twenty-three years and five kids later we still are. Funny how things work out.

The moment of reverse deja vu passed in just a few moments, but it was fun to walk down memory lane while my 18 yr old son slept in the seat next to me.


Sentient Marrow said...

Thanks for letting us join you in the walk down memory lane. I didn't realize you hadn't known Will that long before you got engaged... weird and cool all at the same time.

When I have those moments where I feel lost on a familiar road, I usually do the opposite of you and freak out wondering why I feel lost... wondering if it's the beginning of Alzheimer's or something... call it the worry wart in me. I'd much rather view it the way you did and enjoy the moment.

carrie said...

I think one of the reasons Will and I met, got engaged and then married so quickly was that we were already mid to late-twenties and finished school. Why wait? He was 24 and I was 28. The other reason was that my dad was dying of cancer, and I really didn't have the emotional reserve to draw things out. One day, about three weeks after we met (and we'd spent almost every evening and weekend day together since), I asked Will were he saw our relationship going. I expected him to say, "I see a future for us," or "I'm very interested." Although I admit with my past experiences, I was ready for, "I'm not ready for commitment. I just want to be friends." That's the answer I didn't want. If I got it, I was going to tell him "so long, tootle-oo, have fun." I wasn't interested in "just friends" at the moment.

What I got was a shock. His immediate answer was, "Do you want to get married?" I said, "Yes" and he said, "Okay. Where do you want to go for dinner?" ;-) We bought a ring that night and were married 6 months later. And I was pregnant less than six months after that. The rest, as they say, is history. (24 years in January)

BTW- My dad checked out of the hospital after I got engaged and died at home 5 weeks later. He got to meet Will and they hit it off. My wedding was a bitter sweet without him, but I'm glad they got to meet at least.

Dalissa 365 said...

Thanks for sharing the story, Carrie. Sorry your dad wasn't there for the wedding but glad to hear he got to at least meet Will and liked him.