Looks like I picked the wrong week to give up Mountain Dew

The worst decision I ever made was not pursuing a profession.

The best decision I ever made was marrying Tom.

I decided I didn’t need a profession because my patriarchal blessing (and church culture) said so.

I married Tom because everything in me just knew.

I’ve been angry and sad a lot lately; angry with myself, my church; sad for lost opportunities and Tom’s unemployment. Sad and worried and hopeful and worried some more on that last one. And feeling completely helpless and disenfranchised and angry some more for the “not pursuing a profession” part above.

But Tom already has a new job lined up, a small pay increase, a welcome reassurance of his hard work and determination and just plain luck.

It’s in California. Pros to California: the weather, and . . . the weather (and a paycheck! that’s really it right there, I mean.)

Everything else makes me want to stay here. Family, friends, the kids’ schools, our home, the yard and garden. It’s familiar and safe and oh-so-comfortable.

It feels dumb to admit how hard it is for me to try to stay supportive (because I’m grateful. Of course I’m grateful). I can tell the kids what a marvelous adventure we’re about to start, but I’m not always sure I believe it myself.

When I thought there was a chance of staying here and long-term un- or under-employment, I started applying for a teaching job (substitute to start). Might as well get started on that pink-collar profession. And now it looks like, for now anyway, that patriarch was right. Maybe not for my sanity and negligible stuff like that, but financially-speaking. I recognized Tom from my blessing, you see. He was mighty and strong and I knew it was him.

And maybe on a larger scale this is good, because if I stayed here in this bubble I think I’d need to take a break from church: from toxic, body-shaming, blame-shifting modesty talks in Sacrament Meeting. On Sunday I sat there, squirming and shrieking on the inside in my seat. But Sunday School was good. It (the Spirit) reminded me that marrying Tom was a good decision, the best decision, and that I do trust him on the big things, if not on the navigational aspects or certain minor logistical everyday details.

Maybe in California I’ll have a chance to come to church, again, anew, to approach my Heavenly Parents in a more open place, a place of humility in my soul and tolerance in the air.

I pray.

And now some pictures from our exploratory trip:

Tom’s friend from high school says he has this same shot of Tom from (many) years ago.

Gorgeous flowering libraries are a good sign, I think.

It was a great “vacation.”

Tom was just a little stressed. (Also he doesn’t like to smile for photos. And there was no hot chocolate at the complimentary breakfast. Did you ever?

Seeing friends face to face is even better that over the internet!

The water may be cold, but it’s still pretty.

Waves really are soothing.