So moving is on the list of those big “stressful life events.” Anyone who’s moved doesn’t wonder why. If we’re talking about moving to an unfamiliar place, I can’t help but think that a big part of the stress has to do with suddenly being out of your comfort zone, suddenly not knowing where you are and where the hell the post office is.
So you go out, you drive around, you take wrong turns, you go down this way for a bit until you find a way to turn back around, and slowly, but surely, you start learning these new roads. Slowly you start figuring out what it means to live here and not there. Slowly the streets stop feeling like a big mish-mosh of asphalt, and start to make some sort of sense–maybe you even learn a shortcut or two, or at least stop going the long way to the grocery store every time. A map develops in your mind, and you stop feeling like you’re out flapping in the breeze if you turn down a new stretch of highway.
And you start feeling like you live here.
If you took a look at that stressful life events list, you might notice that there are quite a few that I’ve been through this year. And compared to some of the other changes I’ve made, moving to this city has been a piece of cake. But the process feels somewhat similar, sometimes. A lot of wandering around, feeling lost. A lot of taking the long way to do things. A lot of feeling like I’d rather just stay home because I don’t really know the way to go anywhere else. A lot of feeling like I’m out flapping in the breeze, defenseless.
But there’s a slowly, but surely, to this, too. Slowly, but surely, it’s starting to make some kind of sense. Slowly, I’m learning how to take care of myself. Slowly, I stop taking the long way every single time. Slowly, I’m learning to navigate the circuitous routes of my own emotional landscape.
And I’m starting to feel like I live here.