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I hate change.
There is almost nothing about the upcoming weeks and months that will be in any way similar to what I have known the past few years. Until now I’ve had a stable job, a steady income, an apartment all to myself, a set of routines around exercise, shopping, preparing food, cleaning, and even my quiet time for recharging.
As of next week, I’ll be a guest in a crowded and vibrant home that’s often a whirlwind of activity and where there will be almost no privacy. Anything I do will necessarily be with other people in mind, balancing the need to stay out of the way with the need to be participatory as socially necessary.
For the foreseeable future I will have no income and no job, no structured time and no “direction.” Instead of operating on autopilot (if today is Tuesday I’ll be doing x,y, and z) I’ll need to begin by being spontaneous and flexible.
And a big issue on my mind is that I won’t be making the standard items that I have at each meal, since availability of cooking facilities and food storage space is by no means going to be certain. Let’s face it, you can’t be discreet about a late night snack of microwaved popcorn!
In the past when I have made major moves, I have always sought to minimize change. I have this image of myself on a rocking boat with a hammer in my hand which I’m using to try and nail down everything that I can, while the waves crash around me.
This time around, I know that it just can’t be like that. Even if I wanted to, there’s simply nothing about my life in Manhattan that can be replicated in a quiet little town on the peninsula.
That’s probably why when people ask me “Aren’t you excited about the move?” I don’t really have an answer. Because in fact, I’m kind of dreading it to the same degree I’m looking forward to it.
My practice during Lent has been to stop letting anxiety drive my decision-making. And I’ve been pretty successful about that. But I haven’t been quite as successful in lessening the amount of anxiety I feel every day. Worry has been my constant companion since childhood, so it’s not like I’m going to conquer that issue in 40 days.
For now, I’m visualizing what it would look like if I were to drop the hammer. Just let everything flow. See where the wind and the waves will take me.
It could be wonderful. Or horrible. I’m not sure.