I haven’t written in what seems like forever – but I have good reason. I am out there in the world doing things with little time to write about them! C’est la vie. But I am taking some time tonight to write about this past year because I want to record it, I want to be able to look back and read what this year meant to me at the time.
We moved from the city to, literally, a village. We moved into the guest cottage on my parent’s 100+ acre gentleman’s farm on the foothills of the Olympic Mountains. A magical spot complete with three creeks, pasture and forest flanking it on all sides and a bay under a mile away. My parents moved here the summer after I graduated from high school so I have never lived here but have visited quite a lot and definitely more frequently once the kids arrived. So, why did we move?
We needed a change, a shift, a jolt to our systems. The routine of commuting, missing buses and lack of exercise was weighing on my husband. The traffic, the confined spaces and the general rat race were getting to me. We needed a change of scenery. Within a month of suggesting a move, we packed up our house, set it up with renters and shipped off on the ferry. Would we miss the city? The restaurants on every corner, the walkable grocery store, our friends…? Only time would tell and we could always come back.
The kids didn’t even flinch at the move – they were happy to play in the plethora of cardboard boxes littering our new living room. They could walk up to Gramma and Grampa’s house whenever they pleased, there was tons of land to explore and play, their cousin lived across the street and no more ferry ride to Nana and Poppa’s. What was there not to love? It turns out, we felt the same way. Leaving the comforts of our routine and our perception of what our life would look like on a day-to-day basis was immensely liberating. I feel as though I am entering a new era, I am shedding some layers.
This doesn’t come without its fair share of tough realizations though. It’s hard to let go of people you have known for a decade or more and beliefs that you have fallen back on time and again. Earlier this Fall an actor died at a very young age (my age actually) and I took it hard. For weeks I couldn’t figure out why I was mourning this person – a perfect stranger. So why the weeks of sadness? A close friend told me that it wasn’t necessarily about the person who died; it was just something my soul needed to go through. Only recently have I come to understand that the loss I was mourning was my old life. We are living creatures, bound to transform a handful of times throughout our lifetime but even though these transformations are exciting and fresh with potential and love, you are still leaving something behind. You are moving on. It’s like when you first leave home for college – I remember leaving my mom in a bus station in Boston as she set back to fly home to Seattle. It was such a sad moment – I was off on my own for the first time, a new era. A new exciting era and one that I had anxiously waited for all summer but even though I was embarking on this wonderful adventure I still had to say goodbye to what had always defined me. I said goodbye to my childhood and it was a deep, deep moment. How can you feel excitement and sadness at the same time?
So I believe that is what my soul needed to go through – I was mourning the city life and the day-to-day routine that defined me. I was heading in a new direction, one that was (hopefully) more fulfilling and happier, but I still had to say goodbye to the old ways. Sadness and excitement at the same time.
This move has turned out to be so much more than upgrading our space and proximity to nature and the activities they inspire. It has provided so much room for self-improvement, self-definition, allowing us to jump in a new direction. I have met such wonderful people and kindred spirits out here in the boonies. I have ignited that part of my core that I have ignored for a while – the sentimental, full of light and life person. This is who I am.
PS – A friend’s new site, Waiting For Saturday, couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. She chronicles the stylish outfits people wear on Saturday – ie comfy but cool clothes. Exactly what I need everyday. Fashion may seem frivolous but I think it is a great window to your soul. It is your outer shell. Time to start shining again.
PPS – I would love to start the Family Profiles series again – if you have suggestions, feel free to pass them along. Hopefully time will allow some more posts on those inspiring families out there again.