I kinda glossed over the whole moving thing yesterday, but I have to admit, it caused me a lot of angst. And not just because it turned into The Never-Ending Move, lasting a full four days beyond what it should have been, due to my own feet dragging, not to mention the campaign and throwing in a car accident in the mix (I’m fine, surprisingly – I’ll tell the story later on, as it is quite the story).
I would type out the whole angsty story, but instead I’ll just cut and paste an e-mail that I sent to a couple of close friends the morning of the furniture portion of the move (BTW, big thanks go out to BSHubby, SurferBoy [ModelGirl’s hubby], Boychik, BabySis and IrishWriter for their help in the move, as well as Sarriah for taking a few things off my hands so I didn’t have to put them in storage). I should have been packing instead of writing an e-mail, as MusicianMan sympathetically pointed out while we chatted on the phone as I stood in line at the UHaul place. But as I was just whipping myself into a frenzy while packing so that I had trouble concentrating, it was best to take a moment (or an hour) to let it all out into bits and send it across the wires in the very early morning hours.
Yep, another late night/early morning e-mail. This can’t be full of happy happy joy joy stuff. Heaven knows it’s ungodly long.
Ya ever commit to something that causes you to later question your sanity? As you might guess, that’s what I’m going through right now. Besides the whole “too much stuff” issue that’s smacking me in the face with my packing (and don’t think that’s not worthy of an entire lengthy e-mail unto itself), I’m experiencing a few panic attacks as I box up my books and music and videos, my tchotchkes and wall hangings and papers. I’m wondering what’s going into the storage unit I committed to yesterday and what’s going to end up in my bedroom closet.
And last, but certainly not least, I’m feeling as if I’m packing up the last ten or thirteen years of my life and I don’t know when I’ll see most of it again. As I’ve said, I know, deep, deep down, that this will be better for me ultimately. That I’ll be able to shake the last clinging vestiges of a life that is no longer a good fit for the person I’m turning into, whoever that person may be. I’ve spent my entire 30s (and a portion of my 20s) in this neighborhood. Hell, I’ve spent my entire 30s in this apartment. I turned 30 the month after I moved in here with [Ex] and here it is, barely a month after my 40th birthday, and I’m moving on to the next phase of this strange adventure. There’s a certain symmetry there that appeals to me. My 30s have been so full of wondrous and horrendous things that I’ve come out of it a totally different person than I entered it.
But…but…but…I’ve grown so comfortable here. When everything else around me was falling apart and disintegrating, this was the refuge I could come to at the end of the day. These cozy, quaint walls and my cats were my balm. It’s hard to leave behind so much comfort. To think that, once I get everything moved out, that I’ll never come back again is hard to take. It’s the vice that clamps around my heart and my throat, cutting off my air. I’ll still have my cats, I know that, but to go from an entire apartment to just a little bedroom to shut out the world when it gets to be too much – it’s a difficult adjustment to make, to say the least.
I think I’d also secretly hoped that, when I moved out of here and into a place with another human being, I would be moving in with someone who I would be involved with romantically. Granted, I suspect that what’s been holding me back all these years have been the ghosts of [Ex], ghosts of a man I no longer want but whose memory I’m constantly drawn to, even nine years later. Even though, looking back, there were certain qualities he lacked that I now realize I want in a man, he was perfect for me in that phase of my life – the happier, less complicated phase of my life – and it’s hard to let that go.
And, of course, there’s the whole issue of moving in with another human being. And not just any human being. [IrishWriter’s] become a dear friend and I think it’ll be good for both of us, in the long run, to become roomies. I think that it’ll help both of us evolve – I’ll remember what it’s like to live with someone, how to make certain compromises, and he’ll remember what it’s like to live with someone who’s a friend, not just a roomie in whom there’s no emotional investment. As I told him today, I won’t be in his face, but I’m not easily ignored. Not that he’ll ignore me, but he’s set in his ways and I’m set in mine and those ways are going to clash on occasion, so we’ll learn to work around them.
It’ll also be good for the cats, to have another human to stroke them and pay attention to them. I’ve always felt four cats were too much for one person and I know they’ll be happier. Oh, they’ll freak out at first, but they’ll settle in after a while. Hopefully, they’ll also get along better, once they’re on turf that none can claim as theirs.
But…but…but…if it’s so good, then why am I dragging my feet with packing? I’ve been busy, true. I’ve been lacking in boxes, also true. But there have been times over the last month I could have packed a few things and taken them over to [IrishWriter’s], unpacked, then repacked those boxes and repeated the process. I could have easily had half my stuff packed and moved by now, but it’s only been in the last week or two that I’ve started any packing. Even now I’m stalling, knowing I have to get back to it, but dreading it. You’d think that, with my wandering ways as a child, living in a different city or state every year, that my DNA would be firmly imprinted with the moving gene, so that it would kick in when faced with uprooting.
Uprooting. There it is. I’m uprooting. I’ve invested a lot of time and emotion, a tremendous amount of energy and even a little bit of money in this place and it’s not easily left behind. I’ve never lived anywhere that I’ve invested so much of myself in, in so many ways, and I feel I’m leaving such a huge chunk of who I am behind. So much of who I was has fallen or been chipped away, without my permission, that to leave even more of myself behind without knowing who I’ll become is a frightening process. There’s so much uncertainty in the rest of 2006 as it is that I’m scared the uncertainty of my living situation will be too much to bear. Will [IrishWriter] and I be okay as roomies? Will we both be so hard-headed that it’ll destroy our friendship? Will I even be there come the end of the year? If [CongressionalCandidate] wins the primary, she’ll win the general and she may want familiar faces to go with her to DC. And if she decides that I might be an asset (which may or may not happen) and invites me along – well, I think I may very well take her up on that. I felt at home in DC when we were there in September – maybe it’s time for me to go home again.
So, yeah, brain won’t shut up, as usual, and I’m stalling even more and my friend [SurferBoy] will be here in a couple of hours to take me to the UHaul place, with my brother-in-law joining us a few hours later, so I’d better get back to it. My G-d, man, I have so much stuff it’s not even funny. I really need to get this noggin o’ mine examined again. I’m not so sure about my sanity at the moment.
Thank you again for being such a great friend and for bearing with crazy me and my Tolstoy-like e-mails. Apparently the only way I can resolve anything is by writing it out (and sometimes not even then). I wish I spoke as well as I wrote…
On Sunday, June 4, as IrishWriter drove me away from the old apartment fo the final time, I started to quietly cry as I watched the magnolia tree in the front yard disappear from sight. I couldn’t even talk, I was so choked up over the move and everything else that had happened over the previous weeks – the Democratic Convention at the end of April, the temporary strain to a couple of friendships, the campaign, the car accident, and, of course, the move.
I’ve since come to terms with a lot of what I wrote, and I know the rest will fall into place. It’s only been three weeks, and there have been adjustments, to be sure, but again I’m faced with how very good a move this has been for me.
An era has come to an end. And a new, bright – and outrageously uncertain – one is on my second floor apartment’s doorstep.
Here’s to my forties…