It’s been seven months since I landed in this beautiful bustling city and about eleven months since I decided to ignore all of the reasons why it made more sense to stay where I was. Reasons such as dream job, nice boyfriend, Persian cat, two bedroom condo.
Eleven months ago on a beach in Mexico I decided a couple of things.
- I didn’t have to be, do, or have anything by any particular age.
- All of the limitations I believed I had holding me to the spot were only limiting if I let them be.
“I’m moving to SYDNEY,” was the result. Less than a year later the only thing I still have from that nice list of reasons is the cat, except probably not even that because I’m pretty sure my Dad isn’t going to give him back.
Last year taught me a lot about the art of letting go. I thought breakups and quitting jobs were hard, but they’re a piece of cake compared to how emotionally drained I felt breaking up with my sparkly, cozy, inner city condo.
She was perfect. What the hell was I doing selling her to some (really annoying and petty) stranger? Because it wasn’t exactly a seller’s market, someone I knew suggested I actually write out a goodbye letter to #905 as a way to begin energetically letting my home go.
Another excuse to write down my feelings? I accept.
It reads like I’m breaking up with my first love. Here are some censored excerpts to save myself some embarrassment:
“Letting you go is not an act of boredom or dislike. I am not “over you.” You are not too old, too young, or falling apart. Letting you go is an act of dreaming again, of moving forward. I love where I am – you, my friends, my walk to the places I know and love. It’s not that I’m searching for better – how does it get any better than this!? It’s that I feel ready to go see what else I might be great at, see what else I want to do with this life that I get … It was love at first sight but I’m happy we are parting for such a great and spontaneous reason. I will always remember your light, your space, your city lights, your sunny mornings, shot gunning beers on the deck, late nights falling for x,y & z, girl talks on the couch, work done and not done at the table. You watched me grow up and chase some pretty big dreams and date some pretty big jerks. I hope you fill others up with as much light and inspiration as I have received from you … Goodbyes are hard. I could keep writing forever. (and I did – I don’t think I’ve ever written a real human being a letter that long). I could live here forever too. I will never, ever forget you….”
Of course it had nothing to do with a piece of property and everything to do with change.
On the other side of the courage it took to leave it all behind, I can say it’s been harder than I ever expected, and also more incredible.
Ugly crying in my driveway saying goodbye to previously mentioned boyfriend. Staring at the ocean thinking how happy I was just to get to live after hearing about a tragic death at home. Spending my lunch breaks and days off on a beach. It’s been a new kind of roller coaster. I’ve never felt so blissed out and lonely at the same time. But I’ve also never felt so loved and missed.
I usually put more emphasis on a new year. I usually write more. I usually have more to say. But this time I didn’t feel like putting the pressure on.
One particularly breezy walk home in October I remember thinking that I wanted to stop thinking and planning so much. “I want life to just throw me around a little,” I said to a friend.
Think less, feel more. Less goals and less screen time.
Eight years ago when I was in New Zealand, a family friend who I had spent a lot of time with that week said to me, “You’ve reminded me that being happy isn’t hard.” Whenever I start to feel a little sad or a little lost I think about that moment. Just like I’ll never forget 905, I don’t think I’ll ever forget that sunny drive home with him and that conversation. There are certain moments that hold a lot of weight in one’s life and that was one of them for me.
My overwhelming feeling about 2017 is as simple as that. In all the courage it takes to make change, or be at change’s mercy, or let life throw you around, being happy about it doesn’t have to be hard.
Change doesn’t have to mean you don’t love where you’ve been or where you are. It’s just a chance to see what else and who else and where else you could love in this lifetime.
Personally, I have never had less of a clue about what my life could look like in a year. I don’t even know if I’ll get the cat back. But a year ago today moving to a new city was the furthest thing from my mind, and it’s been the best thing that 2016 gave me.
So. 2017. Throw me around some more and I’ll remember to be happy about it either way.
May everyone’s year be filled with more happiness and surprises than your reasons. And here’s the song that got me writing this. XO