This year, the month of August began with us arriving in our new home state, and ended with us in our new home. We experienced all the exciting feelings that come from moving to a new city, where every outing feels like an adventure. We created a cozy space in our apartment, frequented all the nearby parks, and familiarized ourselves with our favorite grocery store. Curtis started a new position with his career and a master’s program and I went back to work after taking a month off while moving. In so many ways, this was the month we’ve been waiting for for so long. Of course not everything went as planned, it’s still 2020 and unexpected things happened (looking at you, hurricane that ripped through Iowa) but dealing with stressful things just feels way easier when you’re not stranded on an island in the middle of the Pacific.
When I think about this month of transition, the word that comes to mind is ‘easy’. And that’s exactly what we needed after the past 3 years. The day we left the island was the day so much anxiety and stress was lifted off my shoulders. Looking back, I’ve realized how isolated and out of place I felt throughout my whole time living there. I never felt like I fit in, or like I could be a ‘local’. In contrast, we’ve only been here for a month but it’s been so easy to find our way around. We’d only driven through Omaha once before moving here, but it has that familiarity of a Midwestern city that feels so comforting to us. That and the fact that we’re only 4 hours from ‘home’!
Besides that, I feel like I’ve been carrying around this guilt for the past several years of living on Hawaii. I knew I was living in a beautiful place where so many people would love to live or even just travel to, but I wasn’t happy there. I felt guilty that I didn’t like it and felt bad every time I wanted to vent about my problems there. I did my best to enjoy the little things and ‘bloom where I was planted’, but all I felt was isolated and trapped. But now, I feel free, I feel much more connected with people I love, and I feel completely at peace that we are where we’re supposed to be. If you had told me in January that we’d be moving to Omaha this year, I wouldn’t have been that excited, but after all the events of 2020, this is exactly what we needed.
Besides our weekend adventures, we have adapted to our new routines here. Our new apartment is the perfect size for us, small and cozy just the way we like it, yet much bigger compared to our Hawaii home. We’ve enjoyed using modern luxuries that we haven’t had in years, such as a dishwasher, dryer, and air conditioning. The only real downside is that Charlotte no longer has a yard, and we’re on the third floor with no elevators meaning there’s a lot of steps to go up and down whenever she needs to go out. But on the plus side, we’ll stay in shape by walking up stairs so much, and we have great views from our windows and balcony!
On the last Sunday of the month, we went out exploring different small parks around Bellevue, looking for good places for Curtis to metal detect and Charlotte to walk around. That evening, we drove through downtown Omaha for the first time to walk across the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, or “The Bob” for short. Parking was free and close to the walkway, and we enjoyed walking around both the Omaha and Council Bluffs side, and standing in the middle of the bridge, in two states at once. We learned that there’s a light show that takes place on the Council Bluffs side that we’ll have to return for someday. For tonight, we just watched the sunset and then made our way back home.