The Storm Before the Calm

Our lives are in chaos right now. We’re trying to figure out what we will want to eat weeks from now and cramming it into flat rate shipping boxes, or spending evenings purging our home of tiny personal objects to prepare it for the subletter.

Nothing is stable or particularly calm — in fact I would say we are operating at a near constant 9.5 on the stress level (I say this because generally I always think there is room for things to get worse). The other day as I was ticking off one of my final days of employment, a coworker asked me to rate my pain – by which he meant how difficult it was to care about little job related things while I am about to leave for what everyone has agreed will be a grand adventure. At the time I laughed and made some quip about how it was rough.

I’ve been thinking about this now for a few days, and I would say that my pain level is actually pretty high. I have said before that I love my home and my life but I truly mean it. I love home. Leaving all of my life behind and stepping into the unknown is ramping up all of the anxieties that lurk below the surface.

True story: today I was walking home from sending all our food through the mail and I suddenly had a moment where I was staring longingly into a Chipotle as if it were a temple of modernism. All of those people happily munching burritos and being part of the living, breathing entity that is a city made me painfully aware that I am about to step away from it all.

As of tomorrow I will be unemployed, which suddenly makes every dollar saved seem precious. My home is slowly becoming an empty vessel for another person to fill, and all the routines I build the foundation of my life on are shuddering and falling away. And I realize I am disconnecting. I am no longer part of all of this.

When we came back from Bike & Build, there was a strange process of reintegration to the world at large. And here we go again off into the unknown, reducing our lives down to a much simpler and calmer form. Boiling everything down to its essence — which is we breathe and walk and stay alive in the world.

In that boiling down all the distractions that keep me from seeing how awesome and unbelievable the world is go away too. Small kindnesses mean more and suddenly I start to see what has always surrounded me. Life really is pretty amazing. I love the hum and the buzz of everyday existence, but I know that what is waiting for me on the other side of all this stormy stress and turmoil will be completely worth it.

The calm that will follow and the crunch of my feet on the ground will inevitably restore equilibrium. All of you guys back home will help me stay anchored to regular life and all that it represents, and I will truly miss all of you (the ones I see all the time and the ones who continue to anchor me to a small East Coast city).

And I know, on the other side of all the calm and all of the silence, we will plug in again and find our way back into the grooves of life and hopefully swap stories of our last six months of being human. Save me a seat.