Last week marked 1 year since I joined Brendan as a Cape Cod "washashore." It really is quite incredible to look back and reflect on all that this past year has brought.
In the fall of 2019, I returned to WMASS after a summer on the Cape to finish what I knew would be my last year of teaching at my current school. Brendan and I had plans to get a place together in Orleans for that Spring. While I knew a new beginning was in store for me, I could never have predicted this is what it would be.
My love for the Cape started later in life. Growing up, my family and I spent some time down here, but never enough for me to truly see and understand the Cape for all that it is. In 2015, I vacationed in Truro with Brendan and his family. Brendan's dad took us to Ballston Beach, and I was completely taken away. "This is Massachusetts?" I had been to the Outer Cape as a child, but experiencing it as an adult made me see it in an entirely different light.
For the next couple of years, I became obsessed with getting back to the Cape. Brendan and I would go whenever we could, but it was never enough. In the Spring of 2017, I decided I wanted to live at the Cape for the summer. I was enrolled in graduate classes, which I was able to do remotely. I received mixed input from friends and family.
"It's too late to find housing."
"Wait until you're done with grad school."
It doesn't seem like a big decision, but this was monumental in my life because it was one of the first times where I actually felt comfortable trusting myself to make my own choice. That choice changed my life.
Hesitant at first, Brendan joined me in a tiny little cottage in Eastham for the entire summer, working a bartending job in P.Town.
That Summer, I learned a lot about who I really was. I became more grounded, started to appreciate the little things, and grew a stronger connection to nature and the universe.
Leaving the Cape at the end of that Summer was painful and difficult for the both of us. It felt like leaving ourselves behind for something that didn't belong to us anymore. We would go back whenever we could, but just like before, it was never enough. We started talking about moving there full time and again received mixed input.
"You'll be so lonely in the winter."
"Wait and get a vacation home for when you retire."
Brendan made the move first, heading down in the Fall of 2018. The following year, we made plans for me to join him.
I started planning and preparing for the move. During the day, I was excited, and at night I was nervous. I would lie awake in bed wondering if I was making the right decision. I was comfortable with the safe life I had built back in the town I grew up in. Did I want to ruin that for something that might not work out?
Would we find housing? Would I be able to find a teaching job at a new school? Would I make new friends or would I be lonely? Would I be happy?
Then, the morning would come and I would laugh at my nighttime fears, knowing there was no place I wanted to be more than Cape Cod.
Then COVID hit. And of course, I received more input.
"If I were you, I would wait until all of this is over."
"Are you going to be able to find a job?"
"Just do it."
We found the most perfect apartment in Orleans - exactly where we were hoping for. I didn't find the teaching job I had imagined, but instead I ended up starting my own business while also doing private education for a wonderful family who I am grateful to have in my life. In terms of being lonely - I am the furthest thing from lonely.
I have never known happiness the way that I know it today. With the way things worked out, sometimes I can't help but think we've dreamt this life. But, then again, we kind of did.
My point in writing this is to tell you that if you ever feel called to something, despite what logic or what others may tell you, listen to what's calling you. If you trust that things will work out, then they will. Even if it's not in the way you had planned.
Thank you to everyone who has supported my journey. When someone shares their dreams with you, know that they are doing so because they trust you enough to believe in them.