it’s really happening

Photo Credit: R. Jordan N. Sanchez
Photo Credit: R. Jordan N. Sanchez

Today I signed a lease and booked a one-way ticket to my new home in California. I feel frightened, uncertain. To be honest, none of this felt truly real until yesterday, until I called my landlord from Asia and gave him notice that I was leaving my apartment building of five years. It didn’t feel real until I emailed a friend of a friend who’d expressed interest in taking over my apartment, writing, you’ll like it here. It didn’t feel real until I text’d my pop that I was leaving in a month’s time and I responded to his succinct cool reply with, so when can I see you?

And it didn’t feel real until I spent an hour on the phone with Jetblue negotiating a flight with my pet. When the agent asked when I wanted to book my return, I responded, I’m not coming back.

My best friend, a woman who I’ve known for half my life, writes, I can’t believe it’s really happening.

People move all the time. People leave their home for colleges across the country. People study abroad. People are itinerant. I’ve been none of those people. I’ve done none of those things. I went to college and graduate school here. And while I’ve traveled through much of the world I always flew home to JFK and felt the word home.

Until I didn’t. Until there came a time when I replaced the word home with here. Oh, I’m here.

I can handle logistics. I’m Type A; I’m surgical when it comes to details. I’m able to negotiate between various moving companies from a hotel in Singapore with ease but the one thing that I find difficult to do is sit with the unease that comes with the knowledge that I’m about to walk into the familiar, eyes open, heart first. Logically I know this is what I want. I know I need to move, however, that doesn’t make this experience any less frightening. It doesn’t make the questions go away: Will I find work while in California? When will I have to get a car? Can I parallel park? Will I find love? How will I adjust being away from everything that is familiar, everyone whom I love?

I’m feeling the questions hard right now.

16 thoughts on “it’s really happening

  1. I hear you. even though I’m the opposite. I can sit with the discomfort, not necessarily enjoying it, but it doesn’t scare me anymore. the logistics, however. but you’ll learn. and you’ll figure it out. and above all, you get used to it. that’s how it was for me. you start to recognize your feelings and fears. and even though you can’t do anything about it, you know that you make it through them. every single time.

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    1. I fervently believe this. I know, in my heart, that nothing but the good and necessary lie ahead, but it doesn’t make this moment any less terrifying. But all of this is necessary, I guess. Even the dark parts.

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  2. I’ve made 8 500+ mile moves, three that were intended to be permanent (none were – I’ll be off to a-place-to-be-decided-later next year). It’s helpful to remember that in most cases when you leave a place that used to be home they won’t be closing the borders behind you.

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    1. Janet — this is so true. My friends keep joking, “We’re not dead! We’re here.” I know that home is in your heart rather than a place where you lay your belongings. thank you for your comment–it was a helpful reminder 🙂

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  3. Hi Felicia, congrats!

    I too have done this. from my ‘home’ in BC Canada all the way to Florida on a whim because life felt stagnant. Then I moved from there to the opposite side of my home country, a city I’d never even been to before – Toronto. I moved to two places very far away from home without having ever BEEN there. What a shocking feeling that is.

    What I learned, and perhaps what you feel to, is that ‘home’ is wherever you feel you are truly living life. Taking risks and making changes is truly living, so you’ll be at home wherever you go so long as life doesn’t feel stale.

    Congratulations again, and may the journey bring other exciting lessons and experiences!

    Ashley

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  4. Every move has been scary for me, but I feel it’s made me that much stronger. Totally agree “home” is your heart. Always moving forward. Best to you! Can’t wait to follow that part of your journey!

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  5. Change is always terrifying you know that. But you’re a work in progress so this decision is necessary to your evolution and I for one cannot wait to see where this next adventure takes you. I look forward to your telling…as only you can. Best wishes!!

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  6. This. This is what I’m feeling! I’m moving in a few weeks from my home in California to be closer to my mother in Georgia. People try to tell you it will be fine, and I’m sure it will, but it will also be foreign, scary, traumatic, frustrating and weird. Knowing that it will “be fine” does not negate any of the other feelings – you just have to feel them but continue to move forward.

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