Here we are again, back at my in-laws' place in southwestern Florida. This week has been a roller-coaster ride, not only for us but for all those closest to us. It was supposed to be a vacation, one which started last Sunday, but everything got all muddled up around the middle of last week.

It started with a telephone interview for a job I very much wanted. The interview went very well, and they asked me to come to Bethesda for an in-person interview. Had it happened, that interview would have taken place yesterday. Instead, I spent yesterday (and the day before yesterday, as well as today) driving my way back down the coast from our vacation in upstate New York. The organization wanted someone to start far sooner than I could have managed to relocate my family from Florida and the majority of our stuff from storage in New York. One potential new beginning, ended.

Fast forward, then, to Sunday night. We were due to leave central New York the following morning, making a quick stop in western New York before beginning the trek south. This is where the real turmoil began. I don't know why it was so much harder to say goodbye this time. Perhaps it's that my son (now 2 1/4 years old) is so much more verbal than he was when we last visited, and was so vocal about his goodbyes and how much he missed his grandma after we parted ways. Or perhaps it's that his grandma (my mother), broke down sooner than usual - while she was still in my arms, sharing a farewell hug. Whatever the cause, I was a wreck, and I was convinced that I simply could not return to Florida. Hours later, after he held me as I sobbed, my husband had agreed to contact his former employer in western New York, and ask for his old job back - the job he hated, the job we had agreed was going to be an absolute last resort. But, my emotionally-charged self insisted, perhaps after 7 months, we were at the stage of "last resort."

Before we left our motel room the next morning, my husband had the name of someone to talk to in a different department from the one he left. It was in a whole different building, and I was convinced it would be better. This would be the new beginning we've been needing. Why, then, did all signs seem to be pointing against it? We turned onto the Thruway, and my eye caught the sign in the other direction, saying, "Wrong Way." My stomach felt queasy all morning and afternoon, and when he called me from the office building, the words, "So I appear to have a job," did not fill me with elation. Nor were they particularly enthusiastic in tone.

Yet it wasn't until hours later - after visiting with a friend and suffering a near-panic-attack when my husband told me it was snowing outside, and after utterly failing to find anything remotely within our price range for apartments - that I finally said to him, "I don't want this." All day, I kept shaking my head, seemingly at random. In truth, I was reacting to the myriad thoughts flitting through my head. Desperate though I am to get on our feet again, this was another false start.

Now, this evening, we've arrived back to our temporary home, armed with to-do lists and with goals firmly in our minds. Somewhere, there is a new beginning waiting for us. Sometime, and I hope it will be soon, we will open the right door, and we'll start to get our lives under our own control again.
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