There’s No Place Like Home
I’ve been in Long Beach for three weeks now.
These last 5 weeks have been a strange mixture of packing, unpacking, sorting, sifting, working, crying, laughing, and sleeping.
I am still not entirely settled.
The two weeks before I moved were a whirlwind of stressful decisions (should I do this? do I keep this? do I sell it? what do I take to California?) and worry (will John and Kjarsti be ok when I leave? will I be able to do my job well from home?) These are not two weeks I would ever wish to live over. Thanks to friends and children who helped so much with the actual physical labor of moving, I was able to leave Utah right on time.
However, through it all was a deep and profound feeling “This is the right thing to do.” Thank God for that, because otherwise I may have melted into a gooey slime ball of anxiety.
Here have been my major adjustments:
- I am living without any children for the first time in 26 years.
- I am living in someone else’s home for the first time in forever.
- Although I am from Southern California, I really don’t know Long Beach well at all.
- I have never telecommuted before. This has been a huge change.
I was really unprepared to have this be such a big change. I really thought once I got to California I’d just slide into my new life and be on my merry way. Although the transition hasn’t been horrible, and I really am thrilled to be here, there are just things that still don’t feel familiar.
My sister has been awesome. She has let me into her home and she wants me to feel like it’s mine as well. I want to be respectful of the fact that she hasn’t had a roommate for 20 years and she’s is also having to adjust. Hell, I even brought a neurotic dog with me! We haven’t lived together since we were teenagers.
I have taken steps to make this feel permanent. I got a California driver’s license. I joined the Long Beach Chorale. I found a chiropractor (you laugh, but knowing your chiropractor is in the same town is a way to feel like you live there). I’ve bought furniture, unpacked my things, and today I will put up my pictures in my bedroom.
When will I feel like I am home? Perhaps I need to stop asking myself that question, and be mindful of those things everyday that do feel like home. Simple things like Jane curling up in bed next to me, finding my way around town without Googling a location, finding the rhythm in my morning routine, and embracing that new and different things are good and needn’t make me feel unsettled.
This is a glorious time. I live exactly where I wanted to be. When I walk my dog I see the ocean. I eat organic fruits and vegetables. I drink in the sunshine everyday and feel the comfort of morning fog. It really is just about what I focus on and keeping my perspective.
I do really miss my kids… but I would have done that eventually regardless of where I lived. It is good to be in California.