We are in a strange phase, David and I. I have one week (one! week!) left at my job, and the apartment is becoming more and more a moving zone of cardboard boxes and plastic totes. We sold two bookshelves and they were picked up yesterday, leaving empty rectangular spots where they used to live. Early next week, David will drive the car, packed full of artwork and other fragile or precious belongings, to my mother’s house. He’ll fly back to Indiana to finish packing up our home, and then we will have one last weekend here. A last workday, a few farewell dinners, and we’ll be rolling out of town in a rented moving truck together, waving goodbye to our relationship’s “hometown.” I am zig-zagging between exhilaration at the future — like standing on a cliff at the ocean, feeling the breeze on my face — and grief at the ending of this special chapter. One moment I am imagining our travels, hardly able to wait until we leave, and the next I’m in tears, reminiscing about the wonderful friends we’ve made here and the many little places around town that have become our homes.
On the horizon waits a whirlwind gift of a trip. We’ve been writing our “top three” priorities for the many cities we’ll visit, trying to make sure we don’t over-pack our itinerary. We’re trying to make sure we don’t over-pack our bags, either : allowed just 22 pounds each on the airplane, we’ll be carrying everything we bring on our backs. (Look for an upcoming post where I show everything I’m bringing! It’s been fun to carefully plan this.) I don’t even know what we, or our lives, will look like in August. We have plans for a slow fall — David will have nothing to do but his dissertation, and I’m hoping to focus on a variety of projects, including taking a course in making organizational printables and starting a wee etsy shop for a little income. I’ll go help my best friend Lindsey get settle in her new home in Idaho, and we’ll make our way even further west for some time with David’s family.
The summer and fall seasons are going to be such opposites, and contain so much variety. In the last few years, our lives have felt very routine. David has continued to do all his “student things.” Teaching, writing, learning. Once I started working as an advocate at a rape crisis center/domestic violence shelter, things settled down into a rhythm. Given that my job doesn’t have any holidays or breaks (unlike school), we rarely traveled. I worked Monday through Friday, on Saturdays I ran and we did fun things, and on Sundays, we went to church. The rhythm became sweeter with time, and although we have loved it, I think it will be exciting to break completely out of that pattern and into something very, very different. A summer of constant change, motion, and new life. A fall of quiet, finishing up projects (in David’s case, his doctoral dissertation), and bedding down. These patterns match the seasons, and feel appropriate for that reason. When is summer not a season of frenetic energy, or change, of life? When is fall not a time for tying up loose ends, bedding down — preparing for winter?
Living out this new rhythm will bring change — and that brings challenge (for me at least) — but I am hopeful that with constant reflection and plenty of self-care, I will be okay. Maybe even great. 🙂