"I have dreamt in my life,
dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
they have gone through and through me, like wine through water,
and altered the color of my mind.
And this is one: I'm going to tell it -
but take care not to smile at any part of it."
— Emily Brontë
Most changes in the dreams of our hearts sneak up on us. They bloom softly and quietly until we gradually become aware of them- at least, that's how it's always been for me.
But Seattle was different.
I'm not sure if it was the moment we stepped back onto the plane bound for Illinois, the moment I hugged my family goodbye, or the jaunt down the steep sidewalk to Pike Place, but there it was- the snap of realization. Suddenly, something inside me shifted so palpably, so overwhelmingly.
My first thought was, "This could be home."
For a girl who has always been consumed with love for my hometown- the university here, the cornfields, the epitome of Midwestern life- this shocked even me. I hate change. I resist it with every twist and turn in our lives even if that change might be better for us. But I looked out at the sailboats skimming along Puget Sound in the low dusk sun, and found myself thinking that, even in this Illinois heart of mine, the water was not only beautiful...but it could settle into my soul as deep as the crops, grain elevators, and country roads. I pictured raising Millie near shorelines. I imagined the uptick in people we'd pass on the street, the taller buildings that would dwarf us, and the seagulls circling low around us. And for the first time in my life, I thought, "I want that." It wasn't the feeling you get at the end of a vacation, where you dread going back to the ordinary. It was a genuine desire, a whispered promise from the city that said, "You could be here. This could be your water, your skyline, your Market and coffee." It was the first time in my almost 28 years that a place had stirred up something so real.
Of course, moving across the country- to any city on any coast- requires a job set in place, a good deal of money, and an agreement between Sky and I. Those three things are can be hard to come by. And then came the second thought, perhaps more obvious for those in military circles. "Sky should go active duty."
Every time I have mulled over what active duty would mean for our family, I would come to two conclusions. 1- That it would be a smart move for us financially, and we should probably consider it for at least a short contract. 2- That my heart couldn't handle the changes, the move, the pulling away from everything I know. And now, I find myself feeling that I could handle it- welcome it, even. I think about how the change could be not something to dread, but an adventure, and a new start for us.
The clincher? Sky doesn't want to be active duty. At least, not now. And I can't tell him to take a job when it would be his job, not mine...least of all, a job that could require him to go to war. He's even said to me before, "I think you just want to do it so you are in a place where you have more in common with people," since there is absolutely no military support in this community. He thinks the military blogs I've read have filled my head full of dreamlike ideas. But he hasn't read your blogs, or any of the hardships all of you in active duty face. Would it be easy? Absolutely not. This life isn't easy either, though. And I'm finding myself being pulled to new things.
There isn't a good way to resolve this post other that to simply say it's how I feel and what I've been wondering about a lot in those quiet moments late at night, when the moon is overhead and Millie is curled up with her stuffed animals. I think about the tide. I think about visiting the Seattle Public Library with her. I think about a date night with Sky, walking along the water's edge, having him buy me a $5 bouquet from the Market.
Something about Seattle simply grabbed my heart, and hasn't-and won't- let go.