A few months ago I wrote about making a big decision.
Fast-forward, the decision’s made and I’m about to move.
I’ve lived in my apartment for seven years. The longest I’ve lived anywhere since I moved out of my childhood home in suburban Chicago to go to college in Vermont. Most of my friends have been in and out of apartments, relationships, cities and jobs since then, and from my vantage point it always seemed so natural. Now it’s my turn, and natural is not QUITE the word I would use.
My landlord asked for two months notice to break the lease. That translates to eight weeks of purgatory. I have known all the lasts as they were happening: the last snowstorm I watched from my bedroom window, the last TV-marathon I indulged in from my couch, the last stir-fry with homemade peanut sauce whipped up in my kitchen, the last manicure at “my spot,” the last takeout from my favorite Indian joint down the street (this could go on a lot longer, you see where I’m going).
It’s all okay, right? You know, nothing is forever, change is good, transition is how we grow, platitude, platitude, platitude. Except, while it’s happening this doesn’t feel strong, grow-y, evolved and all the other things. I just feel unrooted. It’s made me ask questions like what makes me feel like myself? Is it honestly so boring as routine, a sense of a home, the known knowns. I thought of myself as an adventuress. Here is my adventure and it feels unsettling.
Maybe it’s knowing the outcome of a thing that makes me feel safe, and I’m embarking on a vulnerable thing without a clear outcome. Which, I know, nothing in life is ever really sure, but having the sense that is is soothing, people!
I’m moving for such a beautiful, positive, lucky reason – I’ve found the man I want to share my life with, and we want to live together. I’ve always wanted this moment and now it’s here. Why don’t I feel the way I thought I would?
Shame on me! It’s because I had expectations about this stage of my life, ingrained in my vision of THE FUTURE, and it’s not taking the exact shape I thought it would. How do I get rid of expectations so all the next life stages (in my mind those are capital L’s and S’s) feel ripe with excitement and joy, and void of fear and anxiety? I’m sure my meditation coach (I’m referring to Andy from the Headspace app, I love you, Andy!) would say it’s not about getting rid of expectations, but about recognizing those feelings, not judging them, which will give those feeling space to exist freely, and slowly dissipate. I kinda ad-libbed the last part but the recognize-don’t-judge part is pure Andy.
I’ve been reading all these self-helpy articles like “What I Learned from Moving in with My Girlfriend” or “How to Survive a Move-In,” and I think the reality is this is just uncomfortable. And that’s okay. In time it will be less uncomfortable, and eventually I’ll be settled in on the other side, and I can write my “what I learned” article.
Until then, wish me luck.