I don’t know what it’s like for you reading this on the other end of an internet tube, but on this end, everything’s in flux.
We’re trying to move in a housing market that’s tripled pricetags and doubled rents since we last looked.
Mister is scouting for a new job with a company that loves people instead of dehumanizes them.
Mackenzie, now free from her brace, is entering toddlerhood in both movement and attitude.
My daycare provider is closing her business to go to college.
Our church is returning downtown after a three-year hiatus in the suburbs.
I’m hatching new biz schemes while questioning what my writing is even for.
What’s interesting is that this atmosphere of upheaval* isn’t unique to my household. Everywhere I look, all my nearest and dearest are going through it. Selling homes, expecting babies, changing careers, simplifying stuff and self.
The other thing–perhaps the most important–is that, while these things are stressful and hard and scary and filled with uncertainty, they’re also all good. A new home, a more rewarding job, a thriving child, a growing family, a truer you.
The change these challenges represent is promotion, not punishment.
But there’s still fear. When life gets chaotic, I (and maybe you) catch “what if” disease faster than a kindergartner catches lice.
What if we get priced out of a nice place and have to go back to a crackerbox high rise and maybe get bedbugs again?
What if his new job pays way less or is out of town (when he doesn’t drive) and I have to get a full-time job?
What if I discipline/reward the wrong behaviors and end up with a spoiled brat?
What if no one else can watch Mack and I lose all my precious writing time?
What if people don’t want us back in town and are super vocal about it?
What if I don’t deliver with my writing or change directions and no one likes or trusts me anymore and the dream falls apart?
The “what if” disease steals my sleep, taints my decisions, and crushes my spirit. It makes it hard to see anything except the problems or hear anything except a non-stop litany of potential disasters.
But if I squint just right and jam my fingers in my metaphorical ears, everything comes clear, and for a second, I remember that there’s promotion waiting on the other side of the chaos. As long as I keep moving, I’ll get there.
In Eat, Pray, Love, Liz mentions that her favourite word in Italian is “attraversiamo,” which means “let’s cross over.” It’s an everyday word, used mostly for crossing the street, but it’s the word that’s been flashing neon in my mind through this entire process.
This isn’t a time of crisis; it’s a time of crossing.
It’s time to step away from the safety of what has been, cross through a span of unknown and potentially dangerous territory, and arrive on the other side where new adventures are waiting. All I have to do is wait for the light (and maybe have a grownup hold my hand).
I’m ready. Are you?
* These everyday woes seem petty and self-indulgent when framed against the backdrop of hurricane tragedy, social unrest, and political horror piling up day over day, but–as I keep reminding other people yet tend to forget myself–just because someone else has it worse doesn’t mean your struggles are invalid.