Life A Little Less Ordinary
In the beginning…
I suppose the very, very, absolute beginning of this particular story… my story…. our story…. stems from one extremely snowy Friday night in Brooklyn. It was cold and wet, but it was a long week, so after work a few friends and I broke free from our Manhattan offices to the comforts of a warm, welcoming bar and chilled beer.
Before Will, I would casually date with absolutely no interest in a serious relationship. I worked a demanding job with a decent wage in public relations; it was my life and I loved it. The days were consumed with too much coffee, my blackberry, cigarettes, lots of cigarettes, late nights, crowded subways, weekend brunches, manicures, shopping excursions, and an inexhaustible love for a city that never sleeps. This was my happiness.
View from the street my office was located.
Unbeknown to me, that wintry evening I would meet the person that would change everything. After that evening, I later learned I was to be set up with the good friend Will had brought, so really we were a perfect accident. He was smart and charming, and familiar to me even though we had only shared a few hours together. Our romantic relationship materialized over a week and it became serious within a month. My work started to take a backseat and the glamor of my job started to lose its luster. The more time I spent with Will, the more I started to value the time I wasn’t on my phone. I started to reevaluate everything I thought I had wanted for myself. I was in love and nothing had ever made me feel so full. Will frequently refers to himself as “the life ruinier”, but I think of him as my awakening.
We fell in love.
We adopted a cat.
(I always, always, always wanted a cat. I love dogs too, but I never had a cat. After asking Santa Claus for one for as long as I believed in Santa Clause, Will gave me a 6-week tiger kitten that we named Zydeco. He was our first child. Will is now way cooler than Santa.)
We moved in together.
I was living in the trendy (read yuppie, but extremely alluring) Brooklyn neighborhood, Park Slope, and Will was living in Spanish Harlem. It was quite the commute and since we were staying together every night and my lease was up in August; it seemed like a natural progression to move in together. Looking back, it was probably too soon to move in with someone, but Will and I have and most likely never will do anything at a slow pace. The apartment we found was charming. It was in the neighborhood I was currently living in, ground floor, original brownstone details, had a quaint backyard, and was only two blocks from Prospect Park… it was home. It was our home.
Taken during one of our walks in Prospect Park.
By the time October rolled around I decided to give up the blackberry addiction and leave my job. I was a Senior Account Manager at a Public Relations firm with the new found intention of going back to school to pursue a degree in teaching. I wanted something different for my life. I wanted to slow down. I quit. Will was working in film and was between projects, so what do two responsible adults do when they are both unemployed? Nothing. We took walks in Prospect Park. We started watching the AMC show, Mad Men, which would usually leave us thirsty for a Manhattan cocktail around ohhh, 3 in the afternoon. (The perfect time for a Manhattan don’t you think?) We would go to dinner early and beat the crowds. We would sleep in. We went to Boston for a weekend. We would have dinner parties. I was excited to start planning for school and enjoying the free time and then…. she happened. The week of Halloween, Will became extremely concerned that my eating habits were drastically changing. Example: When he offered me chocolate – I refused it. I NEVER refuse chocolate. I never refuse coffee, wine, candy, but especially chocolate. I had lost my appetite for sweets. Didn’t have one piece of Halloween candy. Unheard of! I felt different. I was pregnant.
In November I took a pregnancy test and it was what we assumed. I was with child. That same week, Will asked me to marry him. I accepted. We decided to get married before the baby was born in the city were we met and lived. It was an exciting time and a scary time. Nothing can prepare you for your first pregnancy let alone your first child, so we took each day at a time. Since Will was working freelance and I had recently left my job, we were obviously concerned about caring for our family. New York City is unforgiving for those with a lack of funds and after a few long discussions, it was decided that we would move to Will’s small hometown of Ludington, Michigan to start our new life. Will would work for his father’s transportation business and I would stay home with the baby.
On January 16th, I married a good, compassionate man, and the absolute love of my life at the Audubon Center in Prospect Park. Despite the rushed effort it was an immaculate triumph. A month later Will moved to Michigan to start working and I followed him in April. The adjustment from moving to a big city to a town of 8,000 residents was difficult for me, but I persevered with the help of friends and family. I started reading more. I started to cook more. I took up gardening. I learned to sew. I sat around extremely pregnant wondering what the hell had happened to me.
Lorelei Brooklyn Dunn was born on an uncharacteristically warm July 8th. Nothing I’ve done in my life comes close to the completion I felt when I first saw her little face. My entire pregnancy I was afraid the feelings I would have towards her and how Will and I’s relationship would change, but it’s like Will says all the time, “She was the best decision we never made.”
The amount of change I’ve been through the past year is a little absurd, but life comes fast and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I cherish my new roles as a wife and a mother. And although we both miss our beloved New York, this works for us now.
Suppose an insane wind holds all the hills
while strange beliefs whine at the traveler’s ears,
we ordinary beings can cling to the earth and love
where we are, sturdy for common things.”