Hey guys. How’s it going?
Here, it’s intense.
One of my friends said recently that I must feel really alive right now – that all of this change and shifting is putting me in a place of just feeling it all. That it might not feel good all the time. And that feels pretty right – because while most of the time, I am making lists and putting things in boxes and calling to turn things off and turn other things on, and filling out paperwork – sometimes, because a song comes on the radio, or because I watch one of Anna’s friends hug her goodbye, or because I have a moment of peace in the midst of what feels like chaos – it hits me like a truck, and I burst into tears. And it’s not happy or sad tears, it’s just everythingtears. It’s just a lot. Which means the bursting is happening a lot. Really, if you see me on the street you should pop open your umbrella and brace yourself for a hug that will last too long. For you, anyway.
Highlights for you:
We signed a lease: Well, technically, not yet. But I have it in front of me with plans to ink – we settled on a lovely little place in Kittery, Maine, that has new floors and exposed wood beams and a nice yard and room for both of us in a good way – and has been lived and loved in by people that are an extension of our family, and that feels good.
We school-toured: We went to visit Anna’s new school. Initially, she wouldn’t get out of the car, but after a few minutes (and promises of a later trip to Target) we managed to get to the door, and eventually, the guidance counselor. I didn’t think I was stressed about the trip, but after a few minutes, we ran into another 4th grader, and the guidance counselor introduced us to her, and when she started (very sweetly) talking to Anna about what it was like to be a 4th grader at that school – and how she was new to the area too, I started crying. Not the out-loud tears, the silent ones that just stream down your face like a faucet inside your head has turned on for some reason. I had a pretty hard time stopping that from happening for the rest of the tour, although I managed to keep it to myself so the guidance counselor (and Anna) didn’t think I was out of my mind. And the teachers were warm, and the kids – even the junior high ones – were welcoming, and at the end, when I ran into a friend of mine who is a social worker through the school – not knowing she worked there – well. I don’t even know you guys. It just felt safe – and right – and I think it did for Anna, too, because the rest of our day was one of the best days we’ve had in months.
We packed it up: My bed and room remains mostly intact, although our clothes are now moved to suitcases, and the drawers are empty. The rest of the house is filled with boxes and papers and garbage and all the memories of all the growing up we’ve both done over the past 5 years. 5 years in other times in my life might be different, but these 5 years, for both of us, have been big. Life-changing years. This is the house where we had fights that were big enough to kick me into running. Where we cried and managed and didn’t manage her hair. Where she met her father for the first time. Where I fell in love. Where we both made friends that are part of what’s getting us through the final stages of an incredibly big and exciting move.
And yes, it is just a house. But this stage of our lives for me, has made this house a very permanent part of my memory. And while she’ll grow up and only take parts of these years with her, I will take it all. Over the last two weeks, I’ve been listening to a combination of depressing old and new music that I realized today was likely breakup music – y’know when your heart has been ripped out and you just kind of want to LIVE in it for a while? I think that’s what I was doing. Dealing with my break-up with Auburndale. And when I had packing-help today, my friend kindly asked to shift our playlist to something more upbeat (this might have been after I cried a little), and I spent the next hour coming to a realization of what I’d been up to.
So, a shift for me, and for you, people in my life, because ultimately, overall, with everything in me, I am happy about this move. I am excited for a new house to settle into, to be so close to my sister, to put down roots, to be in a quieter space, to be near the ocean, to reconnect with old friends that are close – and to create a life for us that encourages and supports my little artist into eventually creating a fantastic life for herself.
So here – at the 5th stage (acceptance) – a (happy) love song, for my packing-friend, my Auburndale-friends, and Auburndale itself. I will love you always.