Egads, it’s been over a month. This will be a bulleted post. Here’s what’s been happening:
- I’m on the couch in a rare moment of evening quiet, listening to foghorns in the distance. I feel like I haven’t stopped moving or working or planning or thinking for the past six weeks.
- We found a new place in Chicago. It has lots of space, a deck and enclosed backyard (!!!), two bedrooms, laundry, dishwasher, parking, hardwood floors, high ceilings, lots of light, tons of closets/cabinets, vintage details. It’s a ten minute walk from my sister’s house. It’s 4 blocks from downtown and trains. Landscaping, snow shoveling, storm window installation, and heat are all included. I had been tempted by a thoroughly-modern urban downtown place (no parking or outdoor space), a tiny single family home (too expensive and weird kitchen), and a just-OK and potentially truly not-great save-money-for-a-house option (important to be happy when we get there)… And this was out of probably 15 places I saw! The primary downside to our new place is the glass top electric stove. And my dream of an open kitchen will have to get shelved until our next move. But I’m getting a grill for the deck and wow did that overall work out well. Thanks to my sister D and bro-in-law S for child care and helping me work through the problem over four intense days.
- Coming back after vacation and diving back into our regular routine, I have many mixed emotions. I notice my tendency to get more negative on this place now that I’m on my way out (makes it easier!), more frustrated in the frustrations. (UGH the fog. HOW did I ever manage this tiny bathroom sink. I HATE my commute. Etc.) I also notice how much my current apartment feels like home. I notice the teachers at E’s school giving him many more hugs and kisses on arrival and departure. I notice the impermanence of all the objects in my apartment, at this very moment sitting right where they’ve always been. I feel all the moves that lead up to this one. I dreamt last night of an old boyfriend. I’ll wake up one morning and SF will be in my past.
- A friend emailed me and asked for my three primary emotions at this stage. I thought about this for half a day and wrote back:
- 1. peaceful. This decision took a while to happen but once it was done, it was so obviously right. It doesn’t surprise or shock me anymore, it’s just the evolution of our life. It will not be perfect but it will be great.
- 2. expansion. This is not an emotion but there’s a feeling that we can grow in our new space- especially knowing I can fling open the back door and be outside on the grass (or snow).. E will grow there. And me too.
- 3. anxiety about everything I’m about to have to do. All I have to do is imagine moving a big family with a whole house and I realize that my move is super tiny and simple. But, still, juggling purging and sorting and organizing and packing and reserving a mover, piano mover, car mover, and then camping out with boxes and camping out without boxes- all with E and a pretty crazy month work-wise… It’s normal to feel nervous. I know we can do it.
- I’m starting to feel more disengaged, like a ghost floating through the city, no longer looking for new connections. No one is investing in newer friendships with us now either. It’s normal. This is is why it’s better to leave soon after making the decision to leave, since otherwise you’re just waiting. It’s like breaking up when you still live together. In fact, it is that.
- National and world news has been unbearable. As soon as I can, I’ll be devoting time to helping elect Hillary Clinton.
- Flying back on Sunday, I realized it was my last time flying home to SF. I thought about how much I have loved flying home to SF. And I’ve done a lot of it in the almost 20 years I’ve been here.
- I chopped my hair and turned 43 and bought rad silver Birkenstocks.
- I got into the Oak Park River Forest Symphony. Rehearsals begin August 31!
- I ran every other day on vacation, 3-4 miles, and felt like a human being again. I can’t wait to build this into my new schedule.
- E can sort of differentiate San Asisco from Chicago and knows there’s an airplane that separates them. Mostly, though, he knows his family, and he knows that they show up all over the place.
- We’re home wherever we’re together.