In one week I’ll be moving out of the house where I’ve lived for the past three years. I’ll be moving into a new town, one town over but a new town nonetheless, and into a new house. I’ll be living with a new person. I’ll be starting a new chapter of my life.
I found out two fridays ago that I had to move. The news jarred me, I felt shaken and uneasy, like the rug had been pulled out from under my feet. Yes I’d been wanting to move, but it was not happening on my terms. I was…(gasp!)…losing control. Losing control is not something I take lightly. That is one of my deepest intentions in my yoga practice, is to become okay with relinquishing control; become comfortable with being uncomfortable.
I spent the entire first half of today packing. I went through my hope chest, whose purpose is to hold intimate belongings of profound importance, items I want to keep safe, and general tokens of sentimentality. Well, over the years my hope chest has accumulated a lot more “sentimentality” than I originally anticipated. I’m a Cancer, ruled by the moon and deeply sentimental, at times to a fault. For instance with my hope chest. I removed the items from atop it and apprehensively lifted the lid this morning, and began nearly a two hour project: gutting my sacred space of intimacy. I found an entire shoebox dedicated to my ex’s and my two year anniversary…an entire shoebox containing mementos from one day…hence the occasional “sentimentality to a fault.” Now you see.
So I ruthlessly made two piles. The pile to my left was “keep,” and was to go back into the hope chest; on my right was the toss pile. A lot went into the “recycle/toss” pile that I didn’t even look at. Two entire shoeboxes, actually, went into that pile. They were undoubtedly brimming with keepsakes from special days, trips, anniversaries and excursions; all experiences that I recall but most of the keepsakes likely signifying random and forgotten bits of the experience. Why did I save empty chocolate truffle boxes, receipts whose ink had long since faded away, hospital bracelets and a carton of crayons? Why was every card I’ve ever been given nestled in a neat stack between my college diploma a white bed sheet whose significance is lost on me?
Sentimentality versus stockpiling, I say.
I tell you, I will never again fill an entire shoebox full of mementos from one single day save for my wedding day and birth of my children. Seriously, it was exhausting sorting through knick knacks, mementos and souvenirs I barely remember collecting.
After that big hope chest fiasco, with everything organized and only true treasures contained within, I rose and dusted the memories from my lap, stretching and aching for fresh air. So I pulled on my nikes and headed out the door. It wasn’t until I was almost home again that I realized I had gone on almost the exact same walk as I’d taken two weeks ago. Two fridays ago, at practically the same time of afternoon, I’d walked an almost identical route. It was the day I’d found out I had to move. It was the day I was caught in an undercurrent of emotion, solidarity moving swiftly from beneath my feat, pulled like mad towards the ocean’s horizon where the unknown lurked.
I chuckled to myself as I passed the same apartment complexes whose windows I had passed, my own reflection searching itself urgently, trying to imagine a home behind those walls. Last week I knew big change was on the horizon, and I didn’t know what it looked like. I was tremendously uncomfortable. I just wanted to know what my future held, I knew that I would move, I just needed to an image of that change. I kept saying, to anyone who would listen, “I just want to know what it looks like. Where am I going to end up, I just want to know and then I can settle down.”
Well, now I know. Today my reflection was smiling. How much can change in just two weeks, I thought to myself. It felt so good to know what it all looked like today, as I retraced my steps, marveling at how the very same walk could now have such a very different context. I’m completely excited to move, for so many reasons. A new place, a new chapter, a new routine, a new exploration…I could go on and on. Change is good, it’s essential for growth. It’s time for a change.
I say it was “nearly the same walk” in that I reversed the beginning and ending. This was all unintentional, but today when I set out walking I exited my neighborhood the opposite way, literally leaving by the exact route I came home from that walk two fridays ago. I had no intention of following a set path today, as was the case two fridays ago as well, and just so happened to take the same random, zigzagging course I’d taken that other day. Irony. The Universe. Whatever you want to call it, the serendipity was not lost on me.
But what resonated with me more than anything today as I walked was this: without the soul-searching discomfort, the feeling of being “lost,” that I experienced two fridays ago, I’d not have had the epiphany I had today. I’d not have had the context for such an epiphany if not for that tense, uneasy state I spent the day in two weeks ago. The yin and the yang. Lightness and darkness. One cannot know the light without having known the dark. Dualities.
Yin, yang, and the moment it all comes together.
How does one see this duality in the moment? The often elusive, sometimes heated, usually emotionally present moment? I suppose my answer to myself is through the practice of yoga. Since yoga is the practice of training of the mind, I suppose that is the simple answer. The practice, however, is one that will gladly occupy a lifetime. Learning to be okay with being uncomfortable, learning to welcome change, to embrace the unknown…those are lessons I will spend the rest of my days moving towards. That much I know. I also know that a shift occurred in my sentimentality today. I know that the duality of keepsake and clutter came to light today. I know that I’m excited to live in a home where there’s a dog, and a juicer. I know that it’s really the simple things that make me happy, and that the unknown is only scary if my mind makes it out to be that way. I know that I’m excited and that it will all be okay. I think I know that the most…that it will all be okay. And tonight, that’s more than enough for me.