[Originally posted on August 11, 2012]
Our new home has huge windows we can’t quite afford curtains for just yet. These windows offer a fabulous view of Texan sunsets and the Dart Container factory. They make things like plastic cups and take-out boxes. Our apartment complex has a luxury pool we happen to share with several hundred other people, and a beautiful view of a man-made lake stocked with fish.
Sam and I are now the proud renters of a gorgeous apartment in Waxahachie, Texas. The rent is more we ever expected to pay six months ago when we were still in student housing, but we’ve lost a bit of our naivety since then. We are learning grown-up words like salary and deductible and interest rate. I admit, these words don’t taste so great.
After submitting over 80 applications to various districts around Texas, Sam got more calls for interviews than he could attend! I’m very proud of him; he has the kind of interviewing skills everyone should envy. That combined with his sharp wit and dashing good looks, and it’s no wonder several districts called him within an hour of his interviews offering jobs for him!
It took a ton (and I do mean 2,000 pounds worth) of praying and discussing before we decided it would be best for him to accept a position as a high school Spanish teacher / coach in Maypearl, Texas. Did Sam go to school to be a Spanish teacher? Why, no, no he didn’t. What’s that, you ask? Did he go to school to be a coach? Well, no, not exactly, no. But he’s enthusiastic and he likes his school (Go Panthers!), so what more can you ask for in your first year?
His salary is enough to get us by if we’re frugal, but of course I want to get a job, too. It’s a little harder for me, though, because… Okay, I’ll put it bluntly: I’m not really sure what I want to do with myself now that I’ve graduated. I don’t want to go back into retail if I can help it (I mean, that was the whole point of college, after all), so what can I do? I’m a great proofreader, I’m good at managing people, I’m awesome at keeping a schedule. I’ve applied for a few jobs already, but no luck. Maybe this is part of the whole Grow-Up-and-Don’t-Be-So-Naive thing, but I was kind of hoping in the envelope my diploma came in there would be a few business cards of people interested in hiring me.
(Mostly joking… I didn’t actually think that… Wouldn’t that be amazing, though?)
Meanwhile, Sam is trying to get used to waking up at 5:15 every morning to get to work on time. Those of you who are acquainted with my husband know this is going to take a miracle from Jesus, so pray for him.
To me, growing up feels like this blanket I’m under right now. Sam and I bought it from Bed, Bath, & Beyond on a whim a couple of years ago. I have a habit of touching everything when we go shopping (I like textures, okay?), and when my hands landed on this blanket, I squealed for Sam to stop scoping out pillows and come feel it, too. It felt like a baby lamb might feel if you spritzed it with fabric softener and cuddled with it on a memory foam mattress. I gave Sam my best pouty face, but it was unnecessary; he wanted to buy it, too. We went “splitsies” on it (wow, we’ve only been married 8 months and I’m already having a hard time remembering what it was like not to share money) and took it home.
Well, the blanket has seen better days. It started out white, but now it’s an interesting creamy color like vanilla ice cream. In student housing, Sam and I didn’t have a dryer so we had to dry our clothes outside on the clothesline. Our yard also happened to be a minefield of stickers and burrs. After being dragged through the grass a few times, this blanket feels like growing up. You’re just sitting here, watching The Big Bang Theory with your husband and wondering when Leonard and Penny are going to get together for real, when you shift positions and find yourself assaulted by a little spiky mine (a.k.a. a sticker). So, what I’m trying to say here is that for the most part, being grown up and independent is great. The other day we bought a box of ice cream sandwiches at H-E-B and had some right before dinner… just because we could! But every now and then a sticker shows up to remind us why, when I was a kid and I begged my mom to buy me one of those amazing My Twin dolls (you know, the ones you could order to look just like you that just so happened to cost a small fortune?), she just laughed and shook her head and said she needed to pay bills instead.
I’m excited to explore our new home in the coming weeks. I’ve heard Waxahachie has a beautiful downtown district and a nice library. It’s also a short drive from DFW, which has, you know, everything you could ever imagine. I’ve been working on helping Sam get his classroom ready for school to start. We’ve both gained a huge appreciation for living on our own that makes this fight for independence, even the painful stickers, completely worth it.