Real! Life! Confession!:
I’m moving moved (!) into my first apartment. As I’ve come closer to the date of leaving home, I’ve had many thoughts on my mind:
- It’s so fun to have a cheerleader- someone who is excited for your new step, is really vocal about their support of your decision (the offers to help move have been such an incredible surprise!), and who emphasizes the significance of the change in a positive way. Experiencing that really shifted my concept of the move from leaving home to starting new. Believe me, there is a difference.
- I shouldn’t be too surprised when I find something “wrong” with the new place and zero in on it with a giant, emotional magnifying lens which makes it tempting to spiral into a fit of disappointment. Making any change because I’m interested in a new opportunity, progress, or taking a leap of faith is good. That is a large part of the reason I’m moving. However…. I do admit that my moving is kind of an escape- the antidote to my “being-at-home” problem- so fear and fretting invariably set in when I feel the apartment may not be quite the escape I wished for.
I’ve dreamed about the freedom my own apartment will give me from whatever restrictions I believe I have at home. But. The lesson here is to be careful not to build it up too much, to anxiously desire it to be perfect and make it fit the dream.
The fun daydream apartment-even when sensibly priced and modestly furnished- might not always sync well with reality (or drown out all my fears). When presented with a real apartment I may realize new restrictions are at play: smaller square footage means less space to move around, things to look at, places to hid all the stuff I carry with me; fewer amenities; less money (which is currently a much lower concern interestingly enough). Because these “restrictions” are novel, they will be scarier and I will take them more seriously. I will consider all their implications, such as the one about me dying all alone- undiscovered for at least a week when rent is due- in my tiny studio because no one would be comfortable enough to visit often and all my big change will be for naught because I’ll be stuck in the prison cell that is my mind and wear sweatpants every day because I’m too depressed for real pants and it’ll be like a continuous tampon commercial before the lady finally changes to the proper damn brand and can finally go to the beach with her friends (who really does that, though? just askin…). Clearly, some implications will be false- stories I tell myself because I am uncomfortable and trying to make sense of the situation.
Later on I should probably not be surprised if those things I desired most from the change (less family ALL.THE.TIME; freedom from the parental Voice) will present itself as another assault on my new “freedom” (loneliness; feeling dependent on the parental Voice to help me through a situation). I’ll have to remember it’s just me getting used to the change. And… I’ll have to remember that I don’t always need someone to comfort me and save me from myself. That may be my bigger challenge, particularly on nights when I am sick at home (I may want someone to tell me to rest or to bring me hot soup and tissues at just the right time; not because this happens at mom’s, but because it sounds so nice and comforting and it happens all the time to those 20/30-somethings in the city like on How I Met Your Mother). Or those times when something bad happened at work and I want someone there to hear about it. Or those times when I’m just scared or too tired or too selfish and I decide that no one else cares and being alone means being lonely. Here I will have to remind myself of Hebrews 13:5 or Philippians 4:12-13 . I’ll have to stop, think, and be mindful. Take a breath and consider if the alternative is true.
Right now I recognize my current financial blessings. But life changes in an instant; what happens if my problem feels material? Consider Matthew 6:31-32, 7:11 and prayerfully recall the evidence of this truth in your life. That God feels too far to consider my issues and I am really all alone? Luke 12:7.
- On needing a cheerleader: in order to stop the story of what’s wrong with my new place, deep inside I may decide that I need someone to tell me that it’s ok. I may seek affirmation for my place or decision to move without really knowing that’s what I crave. It may make me crazy and I may decide “it’s the apartment!” and not my need for validation that is driving me crazy. I will have to remind myself that I am creating my experience with my thoughts. Nothing more. This should be a comfort and help to make me realize that life is a blessing. This is the year I am starting to really begin to understand the truth of Proverbs 4:23. More on that later…
- TV may have colonized my ideas of what “moving out and moving in” should look like. I’ll have to be more aware of any hesitant, worrisome, or discontented feelings I may come across in the first few months and try to consider the truth of the present moment (lol- I’ll buy a gong to solemnize this practice). Therefore, if I am disappointed to find that waking up and washing my face over the sink is not the most invigorating part of my morning, I should consider whether I expected it to be like in a Clean & Clear commercial in which well-meaning, bubbly 20-somethings who live in some magically rent-controlled 2,000 sq. ft. loft in hip Brooklyn are dancing in their facial masks and sharing the joys of their by-gone blemished skin days. When I’m feeling anxious and bored mid-day and decide that I will go crazy living alone, perhaps I should consider if I am thinking about the cat lady stereotype and remind myself that I don’t even like cats, so really that’s just impractical :). Or maybe I’m feeling nervous about living alone because being a consistently single lady in an apt. without an S.O. at least visiting seems unusual (unless you’re a crazy cat lady); women on TV can’t even last the length of a music video without being summoned by a knock at the door (unless they just got out of a relationship). Or maybe I need to just go for a walk or call a friend. That’s simple. :)
- When dealing with people in business, I will be less able to defer to mom’s wisdom because she will be there less. I have to know that I can make the Big Decisions (making large bill payments, signing under the fine lines, dealing with apartment managers and service providers, etc) and peacefully live with the results… even though I may fail sometimes, or the consequences may be unfamiliar. This is ok.
- All of this really pales in comparison to the two things that matter most: 1) God, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; 2) people: loving my neighbor, whomever they may be.