Archives for posts with tag: goodbyes

Sundays are my “get things done” days. I am simultaneously making yogurt, making bread, cooking rice and lentils for dinner tonight and lunches during the week. Fortunately, most of these projects involve paying attention to things for short periods of time, and then walking away.

Friday Jarak and I headed to my dad’s house in Southern NH to pick up the remaining items that I had stored at that house. Unfortunately, my parents have had to sell their gorgeous 4 bedroom colonial that we built the summer before my freshman year of high school. It’s on 20 acres of former dairy farm, mostly fields, with a stream, pond and an orchard my parents started when we moved in. Closing is on Thursday, and everything needs to be out by then. The house has felt less and less like “my house” and more like somewhere I visit. I haven’t lived there since I was 22, and after my mother moved out, it felt even more foreign. When I arrive at that house, my dad says “welcome home” and it’s really not home anymore. The apartment I live in with Jarak is home now.

Even though I have complicated feelings about the house, the fact that I won’t be able to visit the property anymore hit me really hard Saturday morning. I had a good cry, and felt sad about it for a while, and then moved on to the hugely frustrating and exhausting task of moving my bedroom furniture down a flight of stairs and into the trailer. We also helped my father move some of the larger things that he couldn’t do by himself into the trailer that he’s using to move.

Packing up my childhood room was strange, and interesting. It’s remained relatively unchanged since the last time I lived in that house. Which means that there was a lot of high school still on the walls. Posters of panthers, artwork I did in middle and high school, the shelf that held the porcelain doll and other delicate girly things that were given to me, the collage of Airwalk ads I tore out of Wired magazine when I was in 8th grade. Very, very high school still. It was interesting making decisions about what things should be moved, and what could be trashed. I found myself saying “I won’t use this, but I’d like to put it in my little girl’s room some day.” Noticing the shift from nostalgia to dreaming about my future girl who I could share my girly things with was interesting. The bed I grew up sleeping in is a family heirloom, and even though there’s no space for it in our apartment, we had to take it, because our first child will sleep in that bed. This whole move was an exercise in planning for the future while acknowledging the current sadness and closing of a chapter.

Over at A Practical Wedding, there’s often a lot of talk about being a team, and doing the hard things together. This weekend I really understood why I’m getting married. Beyond the fact that I love him more than anything, Jarak and I are a great team. We help each other, even when it’s annoying and we don’t really want to do it. Having a partner means that the really hard things are doable, and not so painful and daunting. We each are made better by the other. I could not have done this weekend without him, which I’ve made sure to tell him and thank him for multiple times. Watching Jarak help my dad was really special, because they’re two of the most important people in my life, and seeing them work together really brought home the idea that he’s family now, even if we’re not officially married yet.

Jarak and I have gotten really good at moving recently. We’re also really tired of moving at this point. I woke up this morning and realized that my abs hurt. Our hands hurt yesterday. Jarak was a rockstar and did all of the driving, mostly because we borrowed his step-mom’s car, but also because driving with a trailer scares me, and I had a humiliating experience trying to back up a trailer when I was in college, and have been avoiding it ever since. I really hope that the next time we move, it’s into our first house. For the first time in 7 years, all of my belongings are in the same state. I have moved one particular dresser 3 separate times. (I replaced the dresser I’ve been using with one from my room in NH, so we had to put my old one in storage.)

We’re looking forward to a few weeks (months?) that don’t involve being on the road. In the past month, we’ve gone to a wedding in Burlington, VT, driven to Midcoast ME to visit my grandmother and aunt, and been to my dad’s in NH twice. It’s been a lot of driving, and a lot of not being home. My cat has not been happy with us.

On the up side, now that we have my other bookcase, we finally have space for all of our books. We’re at 5 book cases and counting. I emptied two banker’s boxes of books today.

Now to put lentils and rice away, clean up the kitchen, and wait for the dough to rise so that I can form loaves and bake it. Then either reading or netflix.

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So in reading all of your awesome comments on my last post, I realized that there are some things that are unclear. The following that may help shed some light as to why I’m such a spaz about this whole moving thing.

It takes me a very long time to make strong connections. I’ve finally made strong connections in Boston, and the idea of leaving them is really hard, and makes me sad.

I’m really bad at uncertainty. I’m moving into uncertainty. I’m living with The Boy’s parents for 2-3 weeks until we can get our own apartment. Where that apartment will be or how much it will cost is not at all certain right now. I also don’t know exactly what my paychecks will look like, so my financial situation is precarious at best.

I need to have my own space. I hate feeling like I’m intruding. These are linked. Yes, I have been invited into this house, and I’m there fairly often, but it’s not “mine.” I do poorly when I don’t have a place that is my own. This will be akin to living out of a suitcase for 3 weeks. (Yes, I know I was a camp counselor for 9 weeks one summer and had a bed and 2 sets of shelves, but that was different, and I was 21. And my parents’ house was still “home” then. )

The house I grew up in no longer feels like home. I moved out officially when I came down here to grad school. Having my own bed and my own dresser in an apartment is a far cry from dorm living. I’ve lived in the same apartment for 4 years. This is my home. Moving out of this into The Boy’s family’s house renders me homeless for a time. When we have our own apartment it will be our home, and it will be awesome.

I have a hard time with change. I cried at my high school boyfriend’s graduation, I cried at my graduation, I was a sobby mess the evening of my college graduation because everyone was gone from campus and I was all alone. (I had to stay for an extra 2 weeks for track.) It took me forever to come to terms with my parents’ divorce. And while all of those things were natural endings, or endings that I had no control over, this is an ending that is my own doing. I made the decision to leave Boston for a new life. To me this is like having to bite down on the tool that forced the bands over my back teeth when I got braces. I know the outcome will eventually be good, but the process hurts like crazy.  I know that I can always come back to visit, but I’ll be here as a visitor, not as a resident. I’ll be coming in in the middle of my friends’ lives, instead of being a part of them on a daily or weekly basis. I can best sum it up as the little kid whining that something just is ” not the saaaaaame!”  This whole adventure gets to my small-child, change-hating inner self.

On the other hand, this feels a lot like a breakup. Not the kind of breakup where you hate the other person and know that your life is better off without them, or where you get dumped, but the “we’re moving in different directions and this isn’t working anymore” kind of breakup. The kind where you still love each other, and have fond memories of each other and you cry for weeks because the relationship was really good and you’re sad it’s over.  Where it’s really kind of awkward when you see them in 6 months and everything is the same, but it’s different at the same time.

I always knew I wanted to spend my 20s in Boston. I also knew there was no way I was going to be able to raise a family here, and that I really want to live in the woods.  It was always kind of time-limited. I did a lot of growing up here. I really became my own person here, on my own terms (mostly). I know the city, I know how it works and all the idiosyncrasies. Hell I can drive in Boston and get myself un-lost fairly quickly, if I manage to get myself lost. I  will never be “from” here, and I never wanted to be, but Boston is a huge part of my life, and I’m mourning the loss of the city, and more importantly my grown-up friends I’ve made while I’ve been here.  Thinking about this as ending a relationship actually helps me give myself permission to cry about it. I’m not only changing my relationships with my friends here, but my relationship to the area itself, and my relationship to myself as a resident of Greater Boston.

And oh goodness have there been tears. I finally let myself cry last night, I mean really cry. I felt a little better when  woke up this morning, but then I had to go to therapy and have my last session with my awesome therapist that I’ve been working with for 6 years. Other than my family, I haven’t been that close to someone for that long ever. It’s kind of a Big Deal. I cried so much today that I managed to coat my contact lenses with salt and they were foggy all day.

This process is like sslloooooooooowwwwlly pulling off a bandaid, where the scab has become part of the bandage. If there were a way to just rip the bandaid off , to cut and run without saying any solid goodbyes, I would, but I’m afraid that that would hurt me more in the long run.

Some of you who read this have taken off to other countries for extended periods of time, not once but multiple times. Some of you make cross-country moves and think it’s awesome. Some of you are perfectly happy living out of a suitcase for weeks at a time. I can’t do that. For all that I’m calling this a Blog of Adventure, I’m feeling very unadventurous right now. I know it will get better when I get there and settle in, but  right now this is the long goodbye and it hurts.

I break the first rule of Fight Club. I talk about it a lot.

I’ve been doing martial arts for about 12 years. I started when I was 16 by joining a very informal daito ryru class that my friends went to. Over the next 2 years, and then through college I became very close with the class and with my instructors, who also happened to be parents of friends of mine. They’re family. Many of the blackbelts have a tattoo of a tiger somewhere on their left arm/shoulder. When I finally get my blackbelt, I will also get that tattoo.

I didn’t get to do much martial arts in college, and none in graduate school. After grad school I joined Meetup.com and found the a martial arts meetup group, which happened to meet near my house. That was in June of 2007. This is a very loose class, and we train in whatever we feel like, jujitsu, boxing, krav maga, grappling, this insane Vietnamese style that’s all elbows and knees, whatever.  I became friends with B and E, two of the founders. Both were late 30s and married. E runs a nonprofit self-defense program which is amazing, and that I’ll talk about more at a later date. At first I was more E’s friend and he wanted my feedback and help on the self defense stuff, but as time went on B and I became close. I had just gotten out of an awful relationship, and he got me, like really understood where I was coming from. I told him some of my history, why I wanted to be part of the self-defense stuff, everything. Emailing with him got me through a really, really tough time in my life. I didn’t spend as much time with him outside class as I would have liked, because I was afraid of stepping on his wife’s toes (I had had a huge crush on him before I found out he was married. He knows this. And his wife is made of awesome. ) I basically became like the class’ little sister. I was the youngest and the only girl. I made a couple of other friends in the group, and then we sort of lost momentum, people stopped showing up and we disbanded for a while.

Fast forward 2.5 years, and we decide to get the band back together. We started a weekly meetup instead of monthly, and got a bunch of people to join up. New transplants to Boston, and people who hadn’t been on meetup before. Sometimes we work on actual learning to fight, sometimes we stand around and talk about everything from politics to families, to book and movie recommendations. There quickly became a core group of about 6 of us, B, E, J (a return from the old group and a very good friend of mine) X and Bsquared. Two of the new guys routinely take pleasure in busting on me. A memorable moment was when I was trying to explain that I know far too many people named John/Jon and I blurted out that “I have too many John’s in my life.” Which promptly resulted in X mocking the ever loving hell out of me. He met The Boy two weeks ago and asked him how someone so great as him (The Boy) would date someone like me. I almost hit him, which is par for the course with us.

I have discovered with this amazing group of men, friendships that will last for years. And they really do not want me to leave.  Every time I mentioned that I had a job interview they all threatened to sabotage it, or sabotage my relationship with The Boy, because it would mean that I was leaving them.  They told me I would have to find another girl to replace me before I left. And then J said that they “broke the mold with” me. I have never had people want me around that badly. I have never felt more loved and supported by a group of people outside my family than my boys at fight club. Every time I think about leaving them I start to cry. I talk more in therapy about saying goodbye to them than about terminating with my therapist.  I worry that I will never find a comparable group of people to spend time with in New York.

B surprised me with a cake and a card signed by the guys tonight at class and I promptly burst into tears. X took a picture of me teary, holding my card and flipping him off. Going to class next week, and then going home is going to be one of the hardest things I have to do about this whole process, and I really, really don’t want to do it.

So if you guys are reading this, I hope you know how important you are to me. You have taught me so much.  I will definitely come back, and if I can’t make class, at least for drinks. I love you guys.