Relocating

I’ve been absent from the PBP for a few weeks. I said I’d get at least one entry done per letter, but I failed. I failed because I bought a house, and have been absolutely swamped both physically and mentally with moving, or relocating.

I have dreamed of buying a house for many years, but it took me a little while to get financially and geographically stable enough to do so. I thought when I finally bought one it would be completely joyous and exciting, but as it turned out, that was unfortunately not the case. It’s actually been very difficult and traumatic, and I’m not sure why.

We (my husband and I) were in a rental house that we really loved. We sort of stumbled into that house, then ended up staying there almost four years. In those years I didn’t realize how we managed to achieve a somewhat country feel even though we live in Houston, and the house was in a typical suburban neighborhood. Something about how the neighborhood was placed and where our house was located within it gave it a little bit of a country feel. The rental was for sale, but we discussed it and decided there were some things we’d like to get in a house that were not in the rental.

I saw about ten houses, and we put an offer on one that we ended up retracting because it turned out to be in the floodway, and flood insurance was not something we could afford. In the meantime, on my birthday we looked at a house that turned out to have my birthday as an address. Crazy. I will say, the numbers are flipped. My birthday is 2775 and the house address is 7527, but I still saw it as a sign. And remember, we looked at the house on my birthday.

I really liked the house while my husband gave it an OK rating. But we were both on the same page in that we weren’t as into the neighborhood, and the house is not tucked away on a side street but instead sits on a busier through street.

But after looking at a number of houses my head was telling me this was the one to go for. It checked pretty much all the boxes, and living in Houston there is really no way to live in the country if you don’t want to spend hours commuting each day. We’re also in a pretty low price point so I knew I’d have to pick and choose about what is really important to me in a house. This house has a great backyard and floor plan, two things that were at the top of the list.

Long story short, we bought it. I like the house, but I’m not head over heals, and pulling out of the rental house has been brutal on me emotionally, and I can’t explain why. It’s felt like a break-up, and I feel like I’m in mourning over the rental house. I’ve ended up shedding a lot of tears, and there are probably still a few more to come.

I’ve been such a gypsy that besides my childhood, I’ve never lived in the same dwelling for as long as we were in that rental. It was also the best place I’ve ever lived besides my childhood homes. Perhaps this has something to do with why it’s been so difficult to pull my energy out of that house.

Also, the process of moving completely turned my life upside down. Throughout the ordeal I questioned my decision to move many times, and kept asking myself why I was doing this. We didn’t have to move, we were only doing it because for many years I really wanted to own my home.

Side note in case you’re wondering…. Yes, I’m “married”, but not legally married. We said vows to each other at a Rainbow Gathering, but never did any legal paperwork. My husband helped with the down payment and we split the mortgage, but I bought the house. It’s all in my name because he did not want to lay bare like you have to do going through the mortgage approval process. So I took one for the team, and I will say, it was absolutely brutal. Even my realtor said he’d never gone through a closing like mine. Yay. It was difficult to get though it without throwing in the towel, but by that point I had spent a lot of money on options, good faith money, and home inspections.

So why am I talking about this as part of the PBP? Because to me its all been part of my spirituality. The crazy numerology on the house, the process of transferring my energy from one place to another and making this house feel like mine, and the deep pain I’ve felt leaving the old house behind. I’ve questioned myself and my decision, and I’ve been really disappointed that I haven’t found more joy. I hope that’s simply because the physical act of moving has been so difficult as we have way too much stuff. So far it’s just been weeks of intense labor, and I haven’t had any real opportunity to enjoy my new house, or even settle in. We’re almost out of the rental, but at the new house it’s just a sea of boxes that we are living out of, and the light at the end of the tunnel is very far away.

But I will do my best to stay positive, and focus my thinking into the idea that I did make the right decision. After all, it is my birthday house, and I have to admit that had a lot to do with me getting this house. I felt the universe was trying to tell me something, and I do pay attention to signs like that. Hopefully it doesn’t all turn around and bite me in the ass.

And just when I bought a house, just when I felt like I could stay in my current job for a very long time, a job posting in another city came up. I am a dance professor, and I have said for years if a dance position at this one particular university ever opens up I will apply. And guess what… I’ve owned this house for one month, and surprise, that position is open. Sigh. And yes, I am applying for it. We’ll see what the universe has to say about this turn of events….

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Distance

I’m currently reading a pretty good book, “In the Court of the Lion” by Eleanor Cooney and Daniel Altieri. In it one of the characters states that another character “has distance in his life”. This little statement really struck a cord with me as I instantly recognized myself as having distance in my life.

I can see this concept going two ways. The first would be someone who is mentally distant. I think we’ve all encountered these “distant” people. They seem disengaged. They aren’t really attached to anyone or anything. Perhaps they lack passion in their lives. I think all people have these moments of being or feeling distant. There are times when we feel a certain level of detachment and want to be distant from someone, something, or some situation. Although I of course have these moments, this idea of mental distance isn’t what grabbed me.

What spoke to me was the idea of physical distance. This I have a lot of in my life, as I tend to be a wanderer. I have traveled many distances and have put much physical distance between myself and the people and places that I love. My wanderlust began when I was sixteen and made the choice to leave home to go to a performing arts boarding school.  In the twenty years that followed I’ve lived in seven states, nine cities, and sixteen different residences. And those seven states are not neighboring states, there’s a lot of distance between them.

All this distance has given me so many crazy experiences, and has allowed me to form strong bonds with amazing people. But the distance has separated me from them and from my family. The connections hold firm in my heart and I am in contact with these special people, but I have to travel great distances to be with them.

Having a lot of distance in my life has allowed me to find some magical places here in the United States. Usually the magic comes unexpectedly, that is, I don’t think of certain places as being magical until I have lived there and experienced it for myself. My top three magical places may surprise you. Arizona tops the list, followed by Wyoming and East Texas.  Yes, East Texas. Surprised? And I would have never found the magic without living there. The East Texas magic lives in the trees and the green, in the heat and humidity, in the bayous and alligators, and in the amazing people I have met.

Distance in my life also takes the form of massive driving expeditions, many of which have been solo ventures. I love the open road. I have driven the entire coast of the United States and I have driven right down the middle a few times. My brother and I have forged a tight bond traveling almost 20,000 miles together in a sport truck, no king cab. Tackling the distance calls to me. Doing a 10,000-mile road trip teaches me things, frees my heart, and once again highlights the distance in my life.

I have physical distance in my life, but it has made me the person I am today.  I am not afraid to live in different places and pick up and move at the drop of a hat. However, that is in the process of changing. I am now feeling the urge to stay in one place for a while and grow some roots. Surprising to me, my roots are growing into East Texas. I never thought in a million years that this is where I’d end up, but there is a reason that I was drawn to this place, and I have lived it’s magic.

There is no question in my mind that people either have distance in their lives or prefer to stick close to someplace and grow roots. To the root people I have to say that I am excited to try this lifestyle out. I am very happy where I am and am well on my way to carving out my niche. To the distance people I say keep rolling. I understand the call of different places and the desire to find out what’s around the next bend in the road. Having distance in one’s life does come at the cost of not having family close by. My family ties have had to survive this for many years… but maybe the distance actually holds us together. All in all, I’ve made my choices and these choices have made me, me. The experiences gained by having distance in my life are profound and I wouldn’t change them for the world. Really I have no choice but to accept and embrace the distance.