It has been a couple of weeks since my last post. When I wrote it, I was full of excited energy, which was hard to separate into rational thoughts but doing so helped me grasp what I was feeling. Up until a couple of days ago, I had lost my excitement and was feeling completely overwhelmed, over-committed, and emotional. I couldn’t seem to focus on anything other than the present all of a sudden.
It started when I had to move out of my apartment. As I mentioned, I loved my little Cambridge one-bedroom. However, I decided to move out August 1st to ease into nomadic life before my August 19th departure date and save on my exorbitant rent cost. That left me with a few weeks of homelessness.
I couldn’t believe my luck when my sister, Lindsey, who lives in Rhode Island, closed on a house in Boston a couple of weeks ago. The house is a two-family and on the most gorgeous street in an up-and-coming neighborhood. Lindsey has not only offered me a place to crash in the in-between time before my flight to Europe, but she also is letting me store all of my stuff at her place, effectively furnishing her guest room.
I sold off some furniture on Craigslist. I consigned and donated a whole bunch of clothes. And despite all the clutter I got rid of, the move was still a nightmare. In hindsight, while I’m used to moving being a pain, it is usually an exciting event because it means I’ll be in a new space and neighborhood. However, in this situation, I am not moving towards anything. The only payoff for all the packing and carrying and transporting of things is that they’ll be stored there. It isn’t particularly motivating and, as a result, I never got into the proper mindset to efficiently and strategically pack up my life.
After I completed my arduous move around 9:00pm on July 31st, my sister met me at the house and we split a bottle of champagne and I brought a smudgestick to bless the new space and remove the bad energy from the house. It is a ritual I really enjoy, both because it offers a fresh beginning and because it floods the space with the scent of sage.
The next day, we discovered that the smudgestick was not big enough – there were lots of problems in the daylight we hadn’t seen when we got into the space the night before. I opted not to stay at the house given the circumstances. I also felt really lonely really fast in the space – no one else lived there yet, it was in an unfamiliar neighborhood, and there was nothing in the house yet. It sounds so whiney considering how lucky I am, but being in my own hometown without my own home was really confusing and off-putting. I needed to be among friends and in a happy place. Luckily, two of my best friends and former roommates generously offered to let me stay on their pull-out couch for as long as I’d like. I really do have the best friends!
I only spent one night at my friends’ apartment before heading to upstate New York for a baby shower and weekend among old college friends in Saratoga. And, after a great weekend, when I was driving back to Boston on Sunday, I started to get an uneasy feeling which felt familiar. I could only identify it as a serious case of “the Sundays,” when you’re anxious, sad, and oddly emotional in anticipation for the new week. However, I’ve always felt that August is like one long Sunday. As much as I try to avoid it, August will always make me anxious. It’s funny that I feel it now, even though I don’t have school, a job, or any reason to be feeling like it’s this big, sad thing.
But you know what? Emotions are not based on logic. I don’t know why it happened when it did, but I got back to Kristen and Hannah’s on Sunday and I cried for the first time about this whole transition I’ve decided on. I never cry. Like we’re talking once a year, maybe. I cried and it felt good. I thought I’d be feeling better Monday morning but I didn’t – I cried again! Maybe I just needed to release some of my crazy energy. Maybe it’s because I realized I won’t have any time to go back up to my favorite place, my mom’s house in Vermont, before I leave. It just started feeling really… well… real. It caught me off guard.
Once I admitted how I felt, let the tears out, and discussed my fears with people, I felt progressively better each day. It isn’t realistic to think that the entire period of preparation for my trip would be spent being excited and bouncing off the walls. There is a difficult adjustment period with any significant, unfamiliar decision. I don’t know yet how I’ll handle my anxiety and loneliness when I’m out on the road, but I have faith that I will figure out a way to deal with it.
At lunch yesterday, my mentor and former boss said something that so perfectly encompassed what I needed to hear: “It isn’t an adventure if you control over 49% of it.” Amen to that, Mike. I have to let it happen.
I am leaving in 12 days. Enough anticipation – I’m ready for Monday.