I cried tonight like I haven’t in years. I was in transition between one event and another, and Carolyn invited me out onto the screen porch to have a moment. It was dusk, and the thunderstorm was just starting up. It’s our last night like this in this phase of life.

I sat on the porch and took in the enormity of what feels like should be a small change, a simple shift. I sat and admired the life we’re choosing to give up. The great amount of time we both have with Sam now. The verdant green back yard with the huge tree. I looked at the imaginary swing that I was one day going to hang from that tree for Sam. I envisioned the treehouse I was going to build for her there. I watched her a few years older rolling down the hillside giggling as she tumbled.

I thought about the masterful woodworking I was going to be doing in the as-yet-unpopulated basement shop. Carolyn asked if I wanted to turn back. And in that moment, I did. It would be inconvenient, but we could still stop the cogs of change that we’ve set in motion. PSU might be a bit pissed, but Ca could get her job back. Linden might be a bit pissed, but it’s “at will” employment — I can quit any time. We don’t have a contract on the house yet.

Deep down, I trust that there’s greatness on the other side. But right here, right now, I’m overwhelmingly sad about what I’m giving up to get there.