A thought occurred to me today: I have moved 13 times in 13 years. And then another: What the f*ck is wrong with me?
In a brilliant attempt to make my life easier, my husband and I finally decided to relocate to Nashville. Whether it’s for a year or five, we don’t know, but since it seems I’m a vagabond at heart, we could end up in Egypt next May. Only time will tell. We decided on this move for numerous reasons:
1. Sophie is probably really tired of looking at me and playing with me and only me each and every day.
2. Chicago rent is stupid.
3. City life with a little one is one of the most annoying things I have yet to experience. Just try grocery shopping by yourself with your child every single day.
4. I miss spending time with my husband.
5. I really need to see the sun.
Now, if I knew that I’d be moving two weeks before my book comes out and that I’d be spending more money than I’ve made in the last two years combined on the move, storage, traveling and potential book parties, then I might have rethought our decision (or at least the timing).
And I’m not sure if it’s just me, but as soon as I make a decision and follow through with it, I am instantly wanting to renege. For instance, as we pulled away from Chicago, our venti decaf Americanos in hand, I felt a monstrous size panic seize my entire body.
I looked at Alex. “Are we really doing this?”
“Moving to the south, ding dong.”
“Did you just call me a ding dong?”
“Are you a deaf ding dong? Yes, yes I did.”
“Yes, Rea, we are moving to the south.”
“But… but there are hillbillies there. And there’s nothing scarier than a hillbilly.”
“True. Have you ever wondered why terrorists leave the south alone? In a word: hillbillies. No one is going to fuck with a hillbilly.”
I started to feel better immediately. I felt more mature about our decision to relocate. I wasn’t announcing from the rooftops that we were leaving. There wasn’t a big going away party. We kind of sneaked out silently… the main reason being I couldn’t even find the time to take a shower or wear decent clothes, so how was I going to arrange a going away party while packing and setting up a new life and planning a book release?
Perhaps it’s moving back to the place you were raised – things often look the same and so much different than you expected. And the last time I left Chicago, my belongings crammed in a Penske truck, I was running away. This time, I was choosing to come home.
As my parents ambled behind us in a gasoline-drenched Budget truck, I marveled at the ability of our entire lives to fit into just 16 feet (which seems like a ton and nothing at all).
All the while, I feel like I am in a dream, or on vacation. In four days, I have already felt the grass beneath my toes; sat outside listening to the birds while drinking coffee with my husband after we worked out together; parked for free (!!!!) outside numerous restaurants in East Nashville; passed a rugby ball; boxed outside; made a new fabulous friend; seen my best friend for coffee during a weekday; took a fifteen minute shower; attempted to take a midday nap; let someone else feed Sophie her dinner; watched as she learned to ascend and descend stairs within minutes of Alex showing her how; sat up late with my parents, watching Mad Men; driven way too much; packed food into a compost bin; witnessed Sophie showing off in front of my parents as she made all of us have a full on laughing attack; seen her take her first wobbly steps; and listened to the sounds of a full house.
Of course, we are only staying with my parents for two weeks until the house we are renting is ready, but still… this “help” concept seems foreign and fabulous (and a little annoying, since I am a bit of a control freak and I like things done my way. Not to mention I am terrified that I will miss a grand milestone, like walking or her saying her second word. I have been there for it all, and I don’t really want that to change).
Yet, we are here. We are breaking free from our routine so our child might feel the sun on her face and know what a garden is and frolic, unencumbered, in her backyard. She will get hot and sweaty walking to the farmer’s market with me or going to the dog park with Neruda. She will see all of her relatives and make new baby friends and become a pro traveler in a matter of months.
All of this because we decided to make a change – to take the pass less traveled (for us) and to slow down our lives, if only for a short while.
And while I have no way of knowing what the future holds, right now, I have my dreams and hopes and wishes… and sometimes, just to get those back again is better than any city or life you were living.
To have the promise of what is to come while enjoying this moment is even better than I imagined.
I’m ready for the journey… for everything.