It isn't easy to say goodbye…
to a life put together with intention.
to a job that fit like a second skin.
to an identity that felt real.
to a city that pulsed through my veins.
to a routine that gave comfort.
I've been doing my best to adjust to a new place… self… way of being. Which more often than not feels like an adjustment to a lack of what was than to what is. I've spent a ridiculous amount of time missing my old work. It was a dream job in so many ways: my own office, a feeling of competence that comes from working in one place for almost 14 years, a flexible schedule, amazing co-workers, interesting work, and a (mostly) livable salary + benefits. I could walk around the city in my black boots, listening to music, getting tattooed by one of the best in the world, meeting weird people. I THRIVED in that space. It breathed life into me for many years. And in the end, it told me to leave.
The energy I spent simply to recover from the onslaught of everyone else's energy in a densely-populated, ever-moving metropolitan area was overwhelming. I'm glad I noticed this enough to make this move, and now-- almost 7 months out, I can feel it in a much bigger way. I've had real space to think, to feel. (An unexpected summer off was a most amazing gift.) The nearest city is really just a town, and there are miles of country road between us.
In all this, I've been fighting the adjustment to the new. Was it the right move, or were we completely wrong to pack it all in to be in the woods for a new pace of life? I haven't been able to write about it in the not-knowing. I needed to know. I needed to have a "real" job. I had to be happy first. Guess what? Things didn't fall into place the way I expected. I had to work my ass off at a temp job before I found work I really wanted. It's part time, and it doesn't pay me enough-- yet. But it challenges me, it's changing me, and I really like it.
As for knowing whether this was the right move? In that space between April and November, after goodbye upon goodbye to what was, I've been working out an answer. This answer comes sharply each time I think about visiting not just my memories, but the city in the flesh: my body says no. Each time we return from picking up or dropping off Leah with her dad at our halfway meeting point, I breathe such a sign of relief. My body relaxes. I am home.