Friday, September 2, 2016
This week, I finally turned in the keys to my apartment and closed a chapter I’d been stressing over for the last few months. After a string of long days hauling things out of what used to be my home, waiting on Craigslist people who would sometimes just fail to show up entirely, and seeing my belongings get thrown out, donated, or placed in someone else’s hands, I crawled out on that final day emotionally spent. Even though that apartment stopped being home a good month before, it still sucked to see it devoid of the attention I’d put into it. A part of me didn’t care, I’d been wanting to move on for a while, but in the process I became, as a my best friend put it, an “accidental minimalist.”
Burning Man has been going on this week and for the second year in a row I’ll be missing the man going up in flames Saturday night. Even though I spent last fall and winter determined to return and make it my own, I slowly found that desire wavering as the new year went on. I do want to return and I do miss it, but other priorities took over. Plus, I want to go back when I no longer have something to prove to somebody else and right now that’s just not the case.
I was lying in bed the other night thinking about this and wondering what the hell will come next. I want to make whatever happens after this pretty damn amazing so that this was all worth it. It’s quite obvious though, I still have something to prove.
That said, I’ve already seen a few positives flow in over the last week:
- After discovering that I’d lost my health insurance coverage, I was able to purchase a new plan that is so much more affordable for me. I’d been dragging my feet on switching out for years and this unexpected mess forced me to finally make the leap.
- A new arrangement with therapy as well as no longer having a full rent to pay every month means that I can hack away at those nagging medical bills and save up for future plans.
- I’ve been considering joining a yoga gym in the neighborhood and exercising regularly again. I fell off last September when I realized how much weight I’d lost, but now that I’m back at a healthier weight, I’m excited to reintroduce it into my schedule next week.
- I’ve landed new freelance positions and can’t wait to share those stories with you once they’re published.
I keep being reminded that sometimes you have to take one step back to go two steps forward. I always saw that as a failure - letting up on any progress even if it’s to catch your breath, reevaluate, and then make the next move - because as I’m stepping back, no one can assure me that there’s a step forward coming up for sure. All I see is the increasing distance between my goals and me.
Dad, who feasts on analogies, likes to use another metaphor to describe this stage I’m currently in. When a baseball pitcher goes up to the mound, he said, he sees his target, looks behind, winds up, and in that pulling back he’s able to drive that pitch farther and faster.
I like this imagery better. For one, it sounds way more exciting and purposeful than taking a step forward and back here and there. It incorporates the need to take stock of where you are and what's around you, prepare yourself for the leap, and then throw all your efforts into the aim. Sometimes you hit the mark and when you don't, you dust yourself off, pick up the ball, and launch yourself over and over again improving your technique along the way. It's exhausting work.
Thankfully, along with providing me with a constant stream of wise words and dad jokes, my father taught me how to have a mean throw and I learned how to not be so afraid of the ball.