Moving on… literally

It’s day 14 after my big breakup and things are slowly getting back to ok. My ex and I are now able to talk without me bursting into tears. I’m able to eat and function normally for the most part. We’re able to see one another without awkwardness too much. Tomorrow I’m moving into a new apartment.

Now I’ve lived in this apartment for 2 years, 8 months and 26 days. That’s the longest I’ve lived anywhere since before I left home. This apartment was the first apartment which was MINE and mine alone. I learned how to be single in this apartment. It was my rock for the past few years.

I’ve loved here. I’ve cried here. I’ve heard good news, great news and bad news. I’ve been angry here and I’ve yelled here. I’ve cried tears of joy. I’ve made new friends and lost old ones here. I’ve made love here. I’ve fought here. I’ve studied my ass off the night before an exam here. I’ve graduated here. I’ve created beautiful works of art here. I’ve lost dreams here. I’ve made dreams here. I’ve made dreams come true here. I’ve aged here from my youthful twenties to my wisdom-filled thirties. I’ve made mistakes here and I’ve accomplished goals.

A lot has happened in the past 2 years, 8 months and 26 days and there’s no good way to sum up everything other than I’ve made memories here. This apartment has been the one stable thing in my life despite all the ups and downs I’ve had in the past 2 years, 8 months and 26 days; and now I’m moving out tomorrow.

I’m terrified.

I’m moving to a new town where new neighbors live. I’m moving farther away from my friends, my family and my support system. I’m moving to a town where the only person I really give two shakes about is now my ex, and we’re no longer together. This move is suddenly terrifying.

Up to this point I’ve been excited. As I boxed things up I anticipated leaving this place with joy, excitement, happiness. I lovingly packed my things in paper and in boxes and I thought about my new apartment and all the memories I’d make there, but now I don’t want to leave the memories I already have.

I’m terrified to be alone…really alone. I’m scared to move away because I’m worried that my bipolar will make me sick… again, like the last time I lived away from my support system. I’m scared that I won’t like the landlord there. I’m scared that I’ll lose my job in that town and be stuck commuting to a job in a different town again; wasting my time, energy and money on the drive every damn day.

This feeling came over me as I was driving home from work today. I realized that it was the last time I’d drive “home” to this town, at least for a while. Next time I drove “home” it would be to my new apartment in my new town. I’m realizing that the reason I took the job I have now was to be closer to him, to be with him, to rationalize moving closer to him and eventually moving in with him; and now I want to be farther away from him, but I can’t run away. Even “home” will only be a few blocks away from him starting tomorrow and it breaks my heart that I’ll be so close and yet unable to have him.

And so here I sit surrounded by my life packed in boxes. All my memories packed up in neat little cubes waiting to move to a new place. Waiting to be unpacked in their new place in my new apartment.

And I’m terrified.

But sometimes you need to pack up your life, your doodads and your clothes and your knickknacks and move on…literally. Sometimes you need that push in order to do something great. So that’s what I plan to do; do something great in this next chapter of my life.

It’s been 2 years, 8 months and 26 days… it’s time to move on.

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Humility

In my life one of the main things that people are really lacking in this world is humility. There’s such an emphasis in American culture to be the best, the fastest, the smartest, the most educated, the best at something and to always come in first place. We’re so eager to teach our children to strive for their best and never settle for 2nd place, but in the real world there’s always a loser. When competing for a promotion, the hiring manager won’t give everyone who interviews a medal. So why are we giving every child an award just for participating instead of celebrating that they tried, but they weren’t the best team and they didn’t win?

I’m not a parent. Let me make that perfectly clear. I worked in childcare for 12 years, have a degree in Early Childhood education and have MUCH MORE experience in appropriate discipline and proper teaching of young children than many parents, but many people still don’t feel that holds up since I have never spewed a child from my vagina personally. *cough bullshit cough* But as such I am able to make objective observations about things that parents are too biased to notice. I don’t understand why we are rewarding effort, no matter how small, instead of teaching kids some real life lessons. Teach them there will always be a winner and a loser. Teach them to lose gracefully and not throw a tantrum when they aren’t the best. Teach them to be humble and not to brag about their successes. This is a great teachable moment that most parents forget.

Now I am not the most graceful loser. My parents banned me from playing checkers and chess all together after I threw the board across the room one too many times as a kid. I’m not saying that I am perfect, or better than anyone else. I have talents and gifts and I use them when I am able. But for every one of my talents, I know that there’s someone out there who’s better than I am. So when someone compliments me on my gifts and talents, I will graciously accept their compliment and thank them for their kindness, then go back to the thought that there’s always someone better than I am.

By no means does humility make me less confident in my abilities. I still know there are talents and gifts that I have that I excel compared to my friends and family. Some of the things I’m capable of doing better than those I know, and I’m grateful for that ability. I’m thankful that I am able to use my gifts and I’m glad I can help my friends out sometimes. I’m humble in the fact that I don’t need to brag, boast or tell everyone I meet about every one of my gifts. Every once in a while someone I’ve known for a while will find out about a hidden skill I have and be really shocked.

One of the gifts I value the most is that I am a good and generous friend. I take care of the people who I love. I comfort them when they are upset. I give every last cent I have to help them. I never expect a single thing back for it. I’m happy to provide for my friends in exchange for their friendship and the smile on their face. I currently have a friend who is in prison (Long story) and she was thrilled when I told her I would be willing to drive the 6+ hours it takes to come see her. To me that’s a part of being her friend and being there for her. It’s a part of sharing my life with her and her sharing hers with me. That’s what friends do. This isn’t my best friend or even a close friend, this is a friend who I am just getting to know on a deeper level, but someone I felt an instant bond with and someone whom I want to support through this hard time in her life not because I want people to think I’m a great person, but because it’s what makes her smile and helps her get through her week.

I have a lot of people who think I’m a good person for volunteering as much as I do, but that’s not why I do it. I volunteer so that I can keep humble. I serve others (humans and animals alike) so that I won’t become greedy and disillusioned that the things in this life are more important than the lives I touch. I’ve mentioned before that the women I help in the local jail help keep me humble. They frequently tell me how much I am helping them, and I turn right back around and tell them “No, you’re the one helping me.” They are always confused and look at me with a puzzled face. They don’t understand how they could possibly be helping me, but their stories and their interactions help keep me humble. It makes me grateful for all the ways in which I’m blessed. It makes me appreciate things other people take for granted. It makes me value my experiences in this life so much more.

There will come a day when I will die, and when that happens I hope to do so humbly. I want to leave this world knowing that I have done whatever I could to make it a better place, to touch the lives of others and to encourage others to do the same. I want to spread humility as a virus, like a force which can not be stopped.

Humility is something which can never be taken from you. It’s only when you choose to stop being humble that it ends. Hold your humility close to your heart. Spread it like wildfire. Don’t get caught up in the fame and recognition from your gifts, but give them until you are completely empty and have nothing more to give. That’s when your life will truly be full.