I’m excited about moving. I didn’t think I would be, but I am. I get attached to places and things very easily, and I tend to view my living space as a calm harbor in the storm of agitation, anxiety, and general stress that is my experience of the outside world. Home is where I can relax, go barefoot, and stop caring about what other people think about my hair, or what I say, or how they see every tiny gesture I make.
And in that regard, this place has truly been my home. It represents my first stab at independence, and my evolution into a relatively self-sufficient, bill-paying adult (I said relatively, Dad).
So you’d think that uprooting myself and changing my lifestyle like this would be a big trauma. After all, I’ve spent the last five years in this place. I’m bound to have gotten comfortable. But if I look a little closer at what those years have brought me, I can honestly say that “comfortable” is the last word that describes them.
I spent four of those years at a difficult, disheartening job, and I spent the last year unemployed. I spent about eighteen months fighting an incredibly dark and desperate cloud of depression that left me unable to stop sobbing long enough to get out of bed. I’ve had a string of discouraging romantic failures, including one that affected me much more deeply than it ought to have (yes, I date occasionally; no, it does not often go very well). I experienced the death of my grandmother, whom I loved very much, and the passing of my cat, Solomon, who was my first and truest childhood friend (not to mention the fact that the day before I moved into this place, I had to put down his long-term companion, Shuli, after an early morning stroke).
But – and I’m glad to say there is a “but” – it’s also been an incredibly hopeful and fulfilling time, and I’m happy to have been able to learn a lot about myself, my goals, and my experience with the rest of the world. I wrote a novel. I conquered my fears and published it. I was rewarded with recognition and fans and hopefully a modestly successful fiction career. I have more projects in the works. I took up crocheting again, and I’ve been able to express my creativity in a variety of ways. I got a new job that I really enjoy, doing something that I love to do. It’s an opportunity that will allow me to establish a long-term, lucrative career in writing, and I couldn’t ask for anything better than that.
I spent two years in therapy with a wonderfully talented, insightful, levelheaded psychologist who helped me navigate some of the toughest aspects of my life, many of which I had been too afraid to address. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve learned how to deal with my family in a fairly constructive way, and learned to listen to myself and trust my own mind. Nothing matches the feeling of knowing that I have found a path that works for me, and that it will continue to lead me towards becoming the person I want to be.
So despite the heartache and the noisy radiator, the broken faucet and the worn out carpet, the terrible, inconsiderate, loud and smoky neighbors, and the fact that I can only use one burner on the stove, it hasn’t been all bad. It’s been a tumultuous trial by fire, and I’m sure it’s not over yet.
Moving to a new place, however, represents putting all those bad things behind me. It’s starting over as the person I want to become. It means getting a cat again, being able to experience that love and joy and constant companionship, and that’s certainly worth the increase in rent. It means leaving my little patch of quiet woodland (and my pool, unfortunately) in favor of a slightly-less-woodsy town, with stores and restaurants and things to do within walking distance. It’s stepping up, and I’m so glad I have the opportunity and the strength to do so. I wouldn’t have had the courage a few years ago, and that, above all things, gives me such satisfaction and hope that life will keep improving as long as I keep changing with it.
So I might be flat broke for the next six months as I pay off my moving expenses. I might be frazzled trying to pack everything up in a logical way, and I might have sore muscles from hauling bags and boxes. Things might be crazy for a while, and I might feel like the chaos isn’t really worth it, but it is. It will be. There are good things ahead of me, and the fact that I can say that – and mean it – is one of the best.