Posted in Our Story

Backwards Priorities

We officially sold our house in Colorado last week! Just like the last time we unloaded a house, we bought a 1988 Iroc Z Camaro. That’s right, we’ve done it again. I found a gray T-top Iroc with original red interior, original steering wheel, and original wheels. T.J. was clueless to my scheme. I had him convinced that he’d be getting a commuter car similar to the manual transmission 1999 Nissan Altima he sold just before we moved to South Carolina.

To me, it was fate. We have been anticipating this tour of a replica Santa Maria expected to be in Beaufort, SC. We closed on our house in Colorado on March 28th and the ship was arriving on March 29th. The car was only about 20 minutes from the ship, so my plan was to pull up next to the car and reveal my intentions. I found out the night before that the ship had been delayed due to inclement weather and damage to the mast. I panicked and tried to explain that we should still keep our plans to head out there. T.J. was more interested in checking out a car he’d found and finally going into Charleston for the first time. I blurted out that I had found this car. He thought I was joking until I started pulling up photos and repeating the conversation I had with the owner. I saw a tear or two well up in his eyes, even behind those sunglasses.

This repeat car was also symbolic of our growth. We bought the first one (the first one we owned together) a couple months before we jumped into our first total reno house, less than a year before my Mom passed away, and two years prior to giving birth to our long-awaited daughter. In no time, the car started showing signs of the neglect and ignorance it had experienced from previous owners. We had several conversations about the extensive work that needed to be done. I desperately wanted the car as an opportunity for him to let off steam. We moved so far out that it was impossible to get to the gym and I could tell he needed that release. In an attempt to hold onto his youth and independence, the lies started. Annabeth was a newborn at this point and T.J. worked 12 hours 5 days a week. He was home by 5pm and in bed by 7pm. I pumped exclusively for Annabeth and those 14 months passed by in a cloud of sleeplessness. I’ll take this minute to brag about the 43+ gallons of pumped milk that I donated! I honestly wish I’d spent more time wrapped up in my precious baby and less hooked up to that contraption. Anyway, we both struggled that first year.

I want to make it clear that I have been guilty of this exact same thing, even to this day. Not being able to let go. T.J. fought to revive that red Iroc like he was on a mission to maintain his own sense of self. I know my Mom would cringe hearing me say the “S” word but the whole thing was stupid. Every little thing we’d started to renovate on the house sat unfinished, our pillowy financial situation had a new baby sized dent, and free time was a foreign concept. This was no time to talk me into pouring a concrete foundation in the shop so he could begin the endless project of swapping everything but the new exhaust he’d installed on that car.

Things are different now. I never thought I would give a second thought to a sports car, let alone a reminder of those times. Truth is: We need that reminder of where we’ve been to remember how blessed we are to be here now. That goes both ways. Never forget how blessed you were back then either!

We hold our breath as we watch missed intentions pass us by. The loss of outdated dreams and irrelevant desires consumes our sense of success. I am not a failure for neglecting to fulfill each dream I’ve ever had. Dreams are fluid and I am proud that I’ve had the foresight to leave some behind. I fail at that constantly but I try to remember that dreams fill in the gaps of each individual moment. My dream on Friday was to spend the day rummaging through stores for design inspiration for the house we’re closing on this coming Friday. Annabeth made it clear that she needed closeness and a standstill sense of security. In that moment, my dream morphed into a wish for peace in her oversized heart. She built a beach in her bedroom and turned on her nightlight to watch the stars wave across the ceiling. The day was filled with Annabeth clinging to me like dog hair, to the point of hitting her face on my butt as I took a step back to open a door. I fought my disappointment and spent too many moments distracted by the thoughts in my head. All while my dreams were nuzzled under my armpit being ignored.

This new car is a nod to our new life. May our dreams continue to be renewed with every single breath we take. We pray that the smiles it brings come with a little spark of motivation to not repeat the past but treasure it at the same time.

May we never stop discovering our own sense of self in these moments of being present enough to adjust accordingly. To soak up our dreams as they come true right before our eyes.

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