Now that I’m in Texas, the land that I fantasized about during many long, Idahoy, winters, I realized something about myself—I only remember the good stuff. I forgot that Fall, my favorite season, doesn’t start in Texas until mid-October or sometimes, November. I forgot that drinking water doesn’t come out of the tap at a perfect cool temperature. I forgot about the bugs.
I mean, I remembered them pretty quickly after lying in my parent’s front yard for about 20 minutes our first weekend back only to find that I had about twelve chigger bites all over my abdomen and bum later that day. I remembered the dreaded “water bugs” or, as most people call them, roaches, when Michael came in from the garage a few days after we moved in and told me he had seen one scuttling around near the washing machine hookup. And even though the exterminator came and sprayed our house over three months ago now, I’ve resorted back to my childhood habit of scoping out every corner of the bathroom when I turn on the lights in the middle of the night to make sure the coast is bug-free before allowing myself to relax. I hate them. so. much. The bugs. THE BUGGSSS. How did I forget about the bugs?
I do this, you know. I did it while we were still in Rexburg living in our two-bedroom apartment. I’d say to Michael, “Don’t you miss our first few months as newly-weds? Living in our little studio apartment?” And yes, while living in what used to be a hotel-room has it’s charms, … it was also pretty awful at times. The hot plate we had instead of a range made it so water took three times longer to boil, the internet hardly ever worked because three of our four walls were made of solid brick, and having guests over was always a bit awkward, because, well, we were newlyweds and our bed was right there! We gladly moved in to our two bedroom apartment. We cringed a little at the orange shag carpet and ceilings spotted with black mold, but the price was right ($425 bucks a month) and it had a washer and dryer in the unit! How fancy we felt. Until about the third time that our upstairs neighbor’s toilet overflowed it’s way into our apartment by way of a dime-sized hole in our bubbled-up ceiling. Until we spent all winter huddled around an itty-bitty space-heater in order to absorb any warmth. Until ice started forming on the inside of our window pain. We both worked, we were both in school, and while I know that many nights were spent in that apartment staying up late writing papers (me) and solving excruciating math problems (him), I can’t help to look back on those times fondly. But I was so eager to leave that apartment, and thankfully, it was that drive that landed us in our final home in Rexburg shortly after I graduated. A complex meant for single male students where we were paid in free housing to collect rent, fix things, and allow our door to be knocked on at all kinds of crazy times to take complaints. We lived there for three years. Three years of no rent, no bills other than car insurance and cell phones, and for the majority of that time, not even a baby to keep us on our toes. It was the place we spent summer nights staying up waaaay too late watching shows on our paid-for satellite dish. It was the place I got my first positive pregnancy test. It was the place I waddled around all winter long eager to meet my baby. It was the place where we made it through our first night as parents.
See? I’m doing it again. I’m making it sound like it was the greatest thing ever, but you know, I was very eager to leave. I knew I would miss it, and that they were days I would never get back. But I was starting to feel like the apartment was too small. I was sick of being so far from both of our families. I was ever-so-over being a college student’s wife. I wanted the career and the paycheck to go with it! I wanted the house and the big back yard! I wanted Friday nights that didn’t revolve around Michael’s homework, dang it!
And well, I have a lot of those things now. Life is pretty sweet. Ellie knows her cousins and gets to see her grandparents a couple times a week. Michael comes home from work and he’s just home, no hours of studying steal him away. There are no tenants knocking on the door at 11 pm. I spend my days trying to find new ways to make Ellie giggle and watching her learn new things. I have what I wanted for so long, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that sometimes I miss those broke days in Rexburg. I’ll remember the way Main Street was decorated at Christmas time or a particular walk I went on with Michael during a long-awaited spring day and get all nostalgic inside.
But someday won’t I be missing these days, too? Days of walks with the stroller and exaggerated kisses from my one-year-old? I think it’s okay to be excited for the good things that are coming, but I also see in my self a great flaw— I forget how fortunate I am to be living the life I’m living before I’m on to the next adventure.
I think I’ve learned that every phase of life will have its bugs. Every phase will have its own variation of moldy ceilings and spotty internet. But in between all the stressful nights of trying to figure out insurance coverage, teething babies, or reliable second cars, there are bound to be some pretty beautiful moments too.
Life is just good that way, isn’t it?