The end of an era.
It’s the end of an era. A bittersweet, I may have cried just a little, end of an era. The only time I can think of that is sort of similar is when Jesse quit his job at the hospital and we both became full-time entrepreneurs.
We had been talking about making that decision for a long time before that day. Finally, we ripped off the Band-Aid and said adios to “security” and social norms #bestdayever. I decorated our home office (aka the second bedroom) with all these quotes about living your life to the fullest, he came home from his last day at work, we stood in the middle of the room and hugged and cried. But that wasn’t bittersweet. That was just a sweet moment for a couple of underdogs in love with each other and the idea of living the heck out of life.
This day, last Saturday, this was a bittersweet moment, driving home from shooting our last wedding. Like, ever. (Unless, you’re getting married in Greece…give me a call.) More than 7 years ago, we started this thing. We were fresh off our we just met + fell in love on another continent high. We were ambitious + felt like no matter what came at us, nothing could hold us down. So, we do what all the crazy kids do these days, we started a business. We didn’t have a clue what we were getting into, but we had all the heart + perseverance to get us there.
I remember trying to figure out the name of our photography business. Our first baby. We went back and forth for daaaaaaaaays. And then, in an instant, as I was blow drying my hair, head flipped over and all (you know, for that extra volume at the roots), I thought of it, flipped my hair right side up and blurted it out to Jesse…
Limelife! I was so proud! So was he! It was perfect! And still is.
So much of every little part of us went into it and it became all we had hoped it would be.
We’re almost home now and all the memories are flooding my mind (and eyes). It’s not just about the business; we’ve been shifting gears by choice, for years now with Idealust. This was our beginning. It’s about us. This guy next to me, behind the wheel.
It’s about what we’ve done together. It’s about who we were when all this began, how it’s stretched us and who we are now. It’s about the adventure, the terrifying + glorious adventure of stepping out into the the world and saying, “Here we are!” It’s about creating something out of nothing. Together. It’s about how our strengths and weaknesses bend and shape around each other’s strengths and weaknesses to form a powerful force with unstoppable momentum.
Until, of course. We halt its progress. We change course. We shift our weight and hearts in another direction and the chugging machine slows and eventually stops, taking its new place in the soft spots of our hearts.
But it wasn’t just the wedding. That was just icing on the cake. I’m assuming wedding cake.
It’s been everything lately. After months, YEARS, of being on the outside, all the way up on my tippy toes, trying to sneak a peek in, I no longer have to try. God has been annihilating heavy stone walls and replacing them with bright, shiny windows. I can see clearly. I feel his presence. I was never supposed to be the puppeteer, but I tried so hard to play my part. To make appointments + paperwork + setbacks all go as smoothly and as quickly as possible.
In an instant, momentum has shifted and he’s revealed the road home. Even though winter is coming, it feels like spring in my heart. Seasons of our life are being tidied up in memories + picture books. And it’s bittersweet because those were the best days of my life. These are the best days of my life. Side by side, with my one and only. Side by side, duking out our opinions. Side by side, asking him to bring me late night snacks in bed. “I’ll miss you,” I say. He says he’s not going anywhere, and I get that, but I guess I just mean I’ll miss the us that got us here.
As the old us drives home from that last wedding, we both feel it, doors are closing and a new space is opening up, all on its own, for that sweet, little dark-haired newness, making her way into our lives.
We pull into the driveway. As usual, my pack mule of a husband hands me the water bottles and keys and says he’ll get the rest (also known as all of our photo gear). I ask if he’ll check the mail before he comes in. We’ve been checking the mail a couple times a day for the last week. It’s only been 30 days and what we’re waiting for should take about 45. But we check anyway.
I’m in the living room, already feeling all the feels from this last wedding day, and by golly that handsome mailman of mine walks through our front door and says we got something from USCIS. Instantly, I assume the bad. I’ve been training myself to expect the worst, so I’m not so deflated when So-and-So tells us something is missing or not right = more time waiting.
He opens the letter. And there it is, our I-800A approval for China. We still have a long wait ahead of us, but this is one BIG step closer. Fifteen days early, yet right on schedule.