We say goodbye in order to grow

by Rebecca A. Watson on July 17, 2013

in California, change, Germany, moving, travel, writing

I wrote this Sunday night, well, technically Monday morning, in my journal. Since then, we’ve found a temporary home, but still nothing with a real kitchen.

Here I am on the night before Sante’s first day of work, anchored somewhere between Santa Cruz and Germany — at port in Connecticut. There is a part of me that is very grateful for this. It’s a well-deserved break, even if it is a limbo.

It’s true we’re living out of a hotel, eating off plastic plates with cheap knives and forks from Target. It’s true we’re driving down roads we’ll just get to know only to leave them as soon as the routes become familiar. And yes it’s true, somehow I’m figuring out how to make meals with nothing but a refrigerator, a microwave and a grill to aid me.

mmm salad

Lots of salads.

But somehow this seems so nice, so easy compared to what came before and what still lies ahead. There is nothing more to pack up or go through. There are fewer bills now that we have no home or car. There are also no dinners with friends or family or obligations with businesses. I feel remarkably free and light.

And that’s a blessing I think because what lies ahead seems heavy, unknown and frankly a bit frightening. We have no place to live yet. Yes, we have a hotel booked for the first night and we could feasibly stay for an extended period, but we don’t have the temporary furnished apartment we’re hoping for.

We certainly don’t have a permanent kitchenless and light-fixtureless home lined up. Germans take the weirdest stuff with them when they move.

sink kitchen cabinets

Like sinks and cabinets.

And no, I still don’t speak the language. Well, nur ein bisschen.

But I feel at peace about that right now. What’s been bugging me lately is that I keep wanting to compare this move to the one I did a few years ago, but nothing is really the same.

Logistically not: I’m going with someone, we’re leaving the country, our stuff will meet us there, a job is waiting there too.

But also emotionally things are different. When I left Minneapolis it was after years of heartbreak that I’d tried to mend. I grew up there. I could never free myself of those memories. I was ready to leave. It’s like high school. Yeah there were some good times, but I was happy to get out.

Santa Cruz is a different story. I built a life from nothing, thanks to some very wonderful people. With my whole heart I feel like I belonged there, which was an experience I’d never had before. God, I felt normal. Accepted. Anyone who has ever felt ostracized knows how special that feeling is.

one percenters

Randomly meeting on Halloween: There are other folks here with ideas like mine!

For as adventurous as I am, I wasn’t ready to leave Santa Cruz. Hell, I woulda hunkered down and lived there forever, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But I don’t know what I’m missing somewhere else.

Once upon a time I was seeing a guy named Mark. He made me laugh, rode a motorcycle and was headed to law school in southern California about the same time I was headed to Santa Cruz. Anyone who knew me at that point knew this was one of the best guys I’d ever dated.

I liked him a lot, I really did. But something in me said I just wasn’t ready, or it just wasn’t right. As much as I hated to listen to my intuition, as much as I would’ve loved a companion in a new state (albeit hundreds of miles away), I knew I had to break things off. I wasn’t thinking I would find something better, but maybe that wasn’t the point.

Many of you know how that story ended: I found the right one, the one that fit the list I’d made. And who knows if I would’ve found him if I hadn’t let go of what seemed good, and familiar, at the time.

Different isn’t always better, but different allows for growth and change in a way that familiar never will. I can see it already in the spontaneous midnight writings in my journal, the U-turns Sante takes to stop at mystery house yard sales and even the food I order at restaurants.

But I also feel the sadness — the bittersweet ache I have in my heart at missing my grocery store or not seeing my friend for a hike in the redwoods. And it’s OK to let the tears flow, because there is no other way to experience life. Feeling emotions, even the “bad” ones is something I’m working on.

In order to grow and learn, we naturally move away from what we once held so dear. It doesn’t mean we forget or lose our love. It provides us with the ability, the knowledge to love the new things. To associate. To analogize. To experience. So while I’ll try not to cling too tightly to what’s no longer in my daily life, I won’t be too hard on myself when I shed a few tears for it either.

Funny thing: I wrote a post months ago for Think Simple Now about lessons I learned when I moved away. It ran this week. Coincidence? I think not! The post gave me all sorts of new perspective and I hope you’ll check it out too.

 

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