(Update 11.17.2008: I’ve decided to split up this post into two parts in order to allow for parts of this previously PWP post to be finally visible.

To view the first part of this long post, click here.)

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Which brings me to the next item of things I’m keeping under wraps for now. This one concerns my career; which has been absolutely blooming as of late. An interesting turn of events, given what happened in my last work-related post.

For starters, the Continuous Improvement Workgroup (CIW) has officially closed out its first phase. With the exception of having to participate in a couple of presentations (one of which is to the major Senior Executives and Board members … yikes!), I am all but done with my commitment to this group. Except … well, of course there’s always the next phase. Otherwise it wouldn’t be a “Continuous” process.

One of the "gifts" we got for participating in the CIW group ... oh, the irony!

One of the "gifts" we got after completing the first phase of the CIW ... Oh, the irony! (click to enlarge)

Those of us that participated this time around were invited back to continue the work that we had started. After all the h*ll I went through these past 10 months, I took a couple weeks to decide if I wanted to throw myself into the fire again. And I did decide not to participate this time around. The reason I gave in my email to the CIW project manager and our Vice President for our department was that participating in this group had consumed much much much more time than any of us expected. And this was blindingly obvious by the decrease in our “numbers” in comparison to the other staff. But then I get the email from my VP specifically asking me to reconsider, as I apparently brought a lot of insight and ideas to the CIW. And if that wasn’t a request for me to participate, then the fact that our VP specifically sought me out in a department meeting to ask me again in person … well, that certainly did. So really … how can one say no to something like that when your big big boss singles you out? Uh-huh …

So yay! Big pat on the back for a job well done. And ugh! How much more “good work” can I take on?

But that’s not what I’ve been all hush-hush about. Shortly after finishing up on the first phase of the CIW project, our whole department found out that our Director (who reports directly to the VP I mentioned above) accepted a VP position for one of our sister companies in another state. One particular state that Hubby & I had seriously considered moving to at one point in our lives. And because my Director and I had talked casually about this particular city in the past, I jokingly said to him that if a position should ever come available, he should think of me. His response? “Well if you find yourself moving into the area, you should definitely contact me. I know we have positions and if not, I’ll find something for you.”

Wow. That was all I needed to hear. And after Hubby & I discussed it at length, we decided that now would be the perfect time to take advantage of this type of opportunity. So as I type, hopefully the email I sent with my resume attached finds its way to his desk. At work. As the new VP for our sister company. And hopefully I’ll hear some good news soon.

The reason I haven’t said anything to other friends and families is because it’s too early in the game to spill the beans. Plus I’d hate to get my hopes up in the event that it all falls through. And if anyone else IRL (and in close proximity of me) knew that this is what we’re planning on as our “next big step,” I guess I’d feel as if I was jinxing myself. Make any sense?

So just keep Hubby & I in your thoughts and prayers so that I might get this opportunity, because I find myself really really wanting to make this change.

Part of the desire, of course, is to put all the hurt and pain of infertility behind me. Don’t get me wrong. I love my city. I have great pride in saying that I’m from Detroit. It’s just that the longer I’m here, the more the sad moments start to overshadow the happier moments. The more I feel left behind while others keep moving forward. The more I feel stuck, tied down … weighed down.

And the longer I stay here, the harder it gets for me to try to change the course of my life. Because I do want to move forward past my infertility. I do want infertility to stop being who I am. I want to take that step away from “Emily the Infertile” and become just “Emily.” Smart & witty Emily. Silly & fun Emily. Happy Emily.

So do I think moving away will solve my problems? No. I’m not as naive to think that running away will make things better. I know it will take a large part of strength to start a life in another city. I know I’ll have to work hard at making new friends (or perhaps reconnecting with old ones). I know that I won’t have the security of having family close by. I know that it will be just Hubby & me.

But I’m okay with that. And I’m pretty sure Hubby is okay with that as well. Because quite frankly, this “trying to start a family” thingy has taken a toll on the two of us. (Oh, who am I kidding? I’m sure I’m the one that stressed over the whole IF thing and therefore stressed Hubby out because I was majorly freaking out.) And perhaps rather than focusing on what’s happening with every one else around us and what’s not happening with us … we can start focusing on just us again.

Because even though it’s just been “Us” for the past 12 years (read: no kids), infertility has definitely changed the two of us as a married couple. We’re no longer that young, fresh-faced optimistic married couple that feels impenetrable. We’re no longer that couple that thinks that the harder you work towards something, the more we’re ensured to get what we want. We’re … or rather I’m … more jaded and disappointed; hesitant to trust that everything will work out in the end. That what goes around might take a little longer to come back around. Yet despite those challenges we’ve faced, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t I thank God that we are still madly in love with each other.

So if this opportunity to move out of state happens, I will definitely be comfortable with life just revolving around the two of us. And I think that placing some distance between those things (and people) that remind us on a daily basis of our hurt and disappointment will be a good thing.

Which brings me to the final reason I’ve kept this post PWP for now. And trust me … this is definitely the one thing I want to keep under wraps for now. So again … if I know you IRL and you run into people whom we both know, please please please do not spill the beans. So here goes …

Hubby & I both realize that with everything that has happened over the past year (both good and bad), we have reached a crossroad in our lives. We’ve come to the point where we need to know what to do next. And so … with the possibility of moving out of state and with the most recent emotional pain I’ve been through … Hubby & I have made the decision to take a stab at living child-free.

Yep. You read that right. Child-free.

And believe me, once I said it out loud (during a major cry session with Hubby, btw) it was as if a HUGE weight was lifted off my shoulders. And suddenly I felt like I could breathe again. And I finally felt as if I could confidently take a step away from “Emily the Infertile” and a step towards the other Emily, as in “Hubby & Emily” and their “infinite playlist.” (Lame reference to “Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist.” Which, if you’re a fan of making great mixed tapes or … ahem, I’m dating myself … mixed CD’s, you must see this movie!) And another step towards the “other” Emily; the smart and sassy one who does the best that she can possibly do to be successful in her career (whatever that may be).

This, of course, is not to say that we’ve closed off any notion towards starting our family at a later date. I mean, who knows? Maybe having the opportunity to choose to live child-free will give us the ability to not always think about the whole “we have no kids” issue, which could (hypothetically) lead to the whole “It finally happened when I *cringe* ‘just relaxed’!” Or it could afford us the strength and the finances we’d need to go through the adoption process.

Either way, this removes the focus of our relationship from “must have kids to care for” to “must care for ourselves and each other.” And hey … since we’ve really enjoyed traveling this year, perhaps this choice to live child-free will allow us to continue to travel with each other and explore different countries and “re-explore” ourselves together.

So those are the big things that have been weighing on my mind and in my heart lately.

I know, I know … monstrously BIG decisions. But I hope that they’re ones that will eventually lead my down the road to being happy and content with who I am as a person and who Hubby & I are together as a happily married couple.

And where do I go now with this blog? Yes, I’ll still be keeping it. And yes, it will most likely still be about longing for something. But perhaps maybe these “Apron Strings” are no longer symbolic for just the longing to have kids … it’ll be symbolic to the want … need … desire to find happiness and balance in both my personal and professional life. Both of which I’m sorely lacking any sense of of balance lately …

Wish Hubby & I luck and please send any prayers up to the “Big Guy” up there to help guide us in the right direction.

And as always … thanks for being the best listeners / readers in the whole wide world.