by Tess Adair
(Did you guys know David Bowie died? Crazy.)
I’ve been remembering lately what it felt like to move between houses when I was a kid. It felt horrible--it felt like a trauma, like someone was dying. Which seems a little crazy to me now...but also, it doesn’t.
Moving is kind of a death--it’s a change, and change often means that something ends so something else can begin. In fact, I had someone tell me once that the “Death” card in tarot doesn’t really mean death, but change--usually a change where something ends so that greater self-understanding can begin.
So change can be a little traumatic. When you’re happy, you don’t want anything to end. What if it ends and then you aren’t happy anymore? It’s hard sometimes to imagine that you can keep going without something you used to have, and still feel as happy as you once did--or even happier.
Especially if the change happens all at once--everything gets more traumatic when it’s sudden.
Of course, in my experience, most changes aren’t that sudden, even if they feel that way at the time.
In case you can’t guess, I’ve been thinking about this because I’m about to make changes in my life. In fact, it looks like a lot of people in my peer group are in the process of making changes--or so Facebook tells me.
Everyone is moving--some a little further from the bars, a little closer to the ‘burbs. Everyone is getting a cat. I haven’t seen too many babies, but there have been a few. Some friends are moving cities, or at least thinking about it. And a few of my friends who always meant to get a graduate degree have now officially started work on it.
It’s like we all got the memo that it’s time to change. Time to invest more in ourselves, our lives or careers, and time to take a step back from other distractions.
I think as recently as a year ago, all this change would have freaked me right the fuck out. But this time, I got the memo, too. I’m not freaking out about the change, because I’m changing, too--and I’ve been changing, in bits and pieces, for a while.
Like I said above, I don’t think change really happens all at once. Not most of the time. It happens gradually, piece by piece. You take a small step everyday, until one day you turn around and you’ve gone a mile.
The big sign of my change is looming: I’m about to move. Honestly, I expected I would dread it. See, right now I live in Capitol Hill--the coolest, most hipstery part of Seattle. It’s all cafes and gay bars and vegan eateries and hippie stores where you can buy essential oils and goat milk soaps. I love it. I used to think I needed it--how could I ever live somewhere that wasn’t walking distance from a bar? How would I ever find my way home if I have to navigate bus routes or phone apps while drunk off my ass?
Funny thing tho--I’m rarely ever drunk off my ass anymore. And the two or three times I have been in the past year, it wasn’t at a bar anyway.
I don’t need Capitol Hill like I once did. I still love it, but I can live without it.
You know what I can’t live without? Space. Privacy. Just a little bit of quiet when I absolutely need it.
And it’s a little hard to get those things when you live in a 5-person apartment on a street with 4+ bars and any number of open-late restaurants.
I love my apartment, but I’ve outgrown it, and I’ve known that for a while.
Change is a part of life. Everybody changes. Everything changes. Fortunately for me, I don’t see moving the same way I did when I was a kid. Maybe part of that is because I make my own choices now. Now, instead of seeing this move as a trauma, I’m looking forward to it. I feel like it symbolizes something--a new phase or a new chapter. And it’s one I’m ready for.
Plus I wanna get a cat.