We’re still moving to California. But things have slowed down.
Well. Not really. Jon originally said we would be gone by winter. We got a little carried away by the thought we might make it much, much sooner. Then life through us a few hiccups which I won’t go into because I’ll start whining again. Some of the hiccups are major. Some are wicked hard. But none have changed our original goal–to be outta here before the snow flies and the ice slides again.
In our initial enthusiasm, we blabbed and bubbled a lit-tul too much. So now, when people see us here in Keene, they exclaim, “You’re still here?!”.
It’s embarrassing, but inevitable. We feel perhaps we’ve outstayed our welcome.
And of course, now I’m working my way through my studio, picking things to keep, slowly sorting things to sell or donate or give away. Couches are replaceable. A printer’s type tray chest is not easily replaced. But it’s not easily moved either.
And slowly, understandably, our dream of California is fading. It’s hard to remember what set us on fire to move, as the reality sets in: living in a stripped-down home, packing up box after box of books, winter clothing, art supplies and sorting through a lifetime’s collection of wonderful knickknacks.
Last Friday, I wrote Hero’s Journey, sharing how a friend’s words of wisdom got me back on track. A few days ago, I found my own words of wisdom to describe where we’re at.
We went to California, as we had so many times before. We’ve always enjoyed it. But we never felt we could live there. We had so many reasons why it wasn’t possible: The traffic, the density of people, the sky-high cost of housing.
This time, it was different. It created a powerful sense of yearning that I couldn’t ignore, and couldn’t forget.
Weeks later, when Jon shared he felt the same way as I did, I felt a rush of joy. I realized we had BOTH heard the call. And we could both choose to answer it.
That’s it. That’s what all this life upheaval is about.
Only afterwards did we layer our choice with explanations and rationalizations. Yes, it’s the chance of a lifetime for both of us to reboot–professionally, physically, emotionally.
When people challenge you about your decision (“Are you crazy?? Why would you ever want to leave here?!”), they will accept that your husband needs to do it for his work. And that he needs it for his mental health. (Seasonal affective disorder and the Northeast climate do not mix. Trust me on this.)
We eventually grew quite a list of excellent reasons why we needed to do this. I could rattle them off right now for you. But this is all you really need to know:
We heard the Call.
And we are answering it.
The first time I heard the Call in my life, I felt like a great wave had engulfed me (in a good way.) It was a clarion call to take up my art, and assume my place in the world. I answered with my full intention, with my heart and soul.
The times I’ve heard it since, I’ve done the same. I answered. I acted, with my full intention.
I have never, EVER regretted it.
Each time it has opened a door in my life. When I walk through, everything falls into place. When I look back, I see miracles and angels. Sometimes, I have to “lie down in a dark room” for a bit, because it is so powerful.
My only regret? The one time I ignored it. It was “too hard”, “too far away”, and I “didn’t have the time.”
That’s it. It’s that simple.
We heard the Call. And all our intentions are focused on answering it.
How do you tell it from an ordinary whim? From an ordinary “post-vacation buzz?”
I don’t know what to tell you. Except that maybe vacations are trying to tell us something, and we’ve simply gotten used to ignoring them.
We didn’t want to come home.
Because suddenly, wonderfully, we already were.