That's how I keep thinking about my change in habitat. On August 5th, I loaded up my car for the last time with things from the cabin and I haven't been back. It was a weird day, and leaving felt so odd. After the last few things were in the car, a water bottle next to me, I buckled myself into my mobile home of the last 3.5 years, and turned my back on my home of two years. It was a teary ride through town and onto the highway. No more wood stove, no more home with no keys, no more picking lettuce from Joe's porch for dinner. It was the first time I had cried during this transition - mostly because I don't cry easily, usually the tears spring once things are done enough to let go, at least a little. Truthfully some of my best cries are while driving - not safe really, but apparently very safe emotionally for me. I can't be heard, I can't wonder if someone can hear and worry about what it will be like if they don't tend to me, worry more about what it will be like if they do come to comfort me.
Now I have to lock my car, carry house keys - I haven't had house keys since I left Dayton. Sure I've had keys to Greg and Janet's, Sunny's, and even BC's, but none of them were "mine." There are several for my new place, heretofore known as State of Mind (SOM). I remember feeling when I was younger that there was something official, mature about having a lot of keys but every time I've had many keys to keep track of, it hasn't always felt so good. They are heavy, noisy, and what happens if you lose track of them? Maybe I needed a break from having a lot of keys because this apartment comes with five, my internship is going to come with a few more as well.
Today walking home from purchasing coffee beans from the Daily Grind (which just keeps getting better and better, I may need to start a tab there) I had a thought that has been rolling around in my head for a bit: I feel more myself than ever. While at the cabin I reached new heights, or rather stability, of feeling happy. Living alone rather agrees with me, I realized. The challenges I put before myself while there taught me so many things - heating with a wood stove, having no cook stove, rock climbing, being involved in a local dance for the first time in forever, and of course starting and succeeding at graduate school. Making a life for me, without thinking about anyone else's needs has been a revelation for me.
I had taken refuge in the cabin, felt safe that I didn't have to figure out things like a bed, desk,or dishes. At the same time, there was a lack of certainty about how long I would stay there, which at first was perfect for my modern nomad self - that was where I was in my head and soul when I arrived there. Over time, during my unrequited love of the cabin (see previous post), I think it wore on me, the lack of commitment. I argued with myself about my desire to live there forever, harboring a fantasy of buying the tiny building from my friends, imagining what it would be like to have it be truly mine - something that could never happen. Other days I would daydream while on realt*r.com looking at little houses to buy in the area because while I adored the cabin, I knew there was no future there, not really, but I loved the area and wanted to stay. At least I thought I did, and still think I want to return.
However being here there is something different and while if feels a bit anti-Buddhist of me, it's related to being somewhere with just my things. But perhaps it's not so off track for my spiritual life - my home is more filled with intention than in recent years. For the first time in years I am living with just my things, things I've chosen, furniture I love. There was an undeniable thrill of having a blank slate of apartment that was empty, for me to create a vision inside of it. That sense began to creep in even before I was fully here, I spent hours on websites, window shopping all sorts of things for my new home fully aware that my budget was limited. But it was so much fun to dream. Of course once here, I remembered again what it is to dream, and the difference it makes to just be in a space so you can let it tell you what it wants to be in reality. It's been fun learning the quirks of this place, shopping at Goodw*ll for the elusive perfect cup, or cloth. Recently I was able to show off the place to my beloved; I was giddy about unveiling how "finished" it was already in the little bit of time I had had. My excitement was met with a smile and a comment about it definitely being "me," and we spoke about how different it is to truly share my space rather than the cabin. It's hard to really quantify what is different, how now my lover is able to see me more fully. Or maybe that it is I feel more fully me in this space in a way I didn't realize was missing.
I continue to fiddle and rearrange, window shop, browse online, and dream of paint chips while State of Mind and I get to deepen our relationship.