I am laying here in bed, trying to figure out my next steps. I’m breathing, in and out, in an attempt to calm myself down – the anxiety is high today. Today is Ostara, the day of renewed life, of shifting energy, and the day I get my van.
Today earmarks a spectacular transition I am asking myself to make. It is my time to take my life into my own hands and live it in the way that I wish to. This is a BIG step for me! Over the past decade, I’ve worked hard to live the lives of others, quietly sidestepping all of those things most important to me.
I have been in the same house for 8 years now, the small house on Normal. When I first arrived to the four bedroom, light peach colored building, I was a college student living on my own for the first time. The house felt innocent, lively, and excited to have us as its tenants.
I moved in with my friend from high school, it was the cheapest option we could find that wasn’t living with our parents. My room was on the top floor, an east facing room. It was the smallest room in the house, but it was quaint and got the best morning sun. It had an interesting sloping ceiling which gave it character. I loved my little room. Everything I had fit into it nicely, leaving just enough space to move around and sit on the floor to write. There were times it felt cramped, but a little cleaning (which didn’t take long) fixed that quick enough. It was my hobbit hole, every nook and cranny filled.
The interesting thing about Normal was the people. In addition to my high school homie, in moved Scottie, a young grad student who liked to party. Scottie was a blast to have in the house as her voice lit up the family room, and her presence made us truly that – a family. Over the years I have seen a rotation of folks come and go through the Normal door. Some were great and I deeply miss having them here, others I was more than happy to see go on their way and I saged their rooms furiously when they did.
These roommates taught me a great number of lessons, everything from meal planning to dancing salsa, paying taxes to tuition bills. Each and every one of the folks who filled the four rooms gave me such valuable information about myself and the world around me.
My current roommate has been here for the last four years. He moved in with his high school homie, and has stayed even when his friend moved on. I’ve enjoyed living with him, however, my life changed a bit when they came in.
It was the first time I ever really invested time in smoking marijuana. I remember coming home to either one of them, sitting on the porch, smoking a joint. It was nice, a calming presence, a way to wash away the worries of the day and just chill. Years later, I look back and wish I had never taken that first hit. For, I worry that in doing so, I never taught myself how to handle those stressful times. I let things go undone, because ‘don’t worry, be happy’. I chose numbing over resilience and it has affected where I stand today.
Today, I am buying a van. Not just any van, but a van to live in – a camper of sorts. In all the goals I have struggled in, this one is the most daring and dangerous, but also the most necessary. I am leaving the Normal house in search of me, to find the resilience I have pushed down and to the side.
Van life is going to look significantly different, which is what I want. I want to experience the full power of my ability to be creative, to feel free, and to be resourceful. So much of my energy has been focused on impressing others and now I feel the strength and power in the idea of only needing to impress myself.
And I am impressed. There are not many others out there who would follow their dream like this. I want to be a writer, and I know that if I want to be a good – no, a great writer, than I must live expansively. To live expansively, one must be willing to go above and beyond to live outside of the ordinary. A great writer cannot come home and numb their feelings, they must use them – to write, to digest, to be in pain and sadness and give that to their stories.
I will miss this old house of mine, we’ve been dependent on one another for almost a decade. Its time to gather about me all the lessons I’ve learned from the people and rooms of this place. Time to take them with me into the world, into my next normal house.