I’ve been in the same place for a year. I know because the lease is up. It’s one of those weird tricks of time that it feels shorter and longer all at the same time. Shorter because I can vividly remember the beginning: Slowly moving in, unpacking things I hadn’t seen in over a year, little treasures and mementos, my furniture unpacked from storage and graciously carted the hour and a half journey by my parents, the elation at being in our own place and the shock that we ended up here in the middle of nowhere. Longer because there’s been so many memories made between then and now: visits from family, traveling around the state, eating at the local diner. There’ve been new jobs and adventures, afternoons spent playing video games and sipping cocktails and quiet nights sitting and reading together.
A year ago I dropped my husband off at work, and drove the thirty miles to our new home. I found the key where the landlord said it was hidden, unlocked the front door and walked in. I walked through all the rooms, making sure they were just as I remembered. I open and shut cabinets, peered into the refrigerator, flipped light switches, and then I danced around in the living room like a total spaz. My husband and I had been living with family members for a year and a half, having our own place again was Christmas morning to me. Family (both his and mine) are amazing, but there’s so much freedom when it’s your own.
A year ago I was excited to be moving into a place of our own. But I was also a little lost. I didn’t know what I wanted to do or what I was going to do, I was still job searching, scouring the internet for a job I could do from my new home. I was also still a little broken; I hid it well, but deep down things weren’t peachy. I was upset about the way I came to be back in the states, I felt the universe had forced my hand and I didn’t understand why. I was afraid to examine the feelings too closely so I shuttered them deep within and ignored the fact that I couldn’t speak about the fact that our plans, my plans, went up in a cloud of smoke. I ignored the fact that I wasn’t sleeping well.
Soon I found a job, one that I could do online with a company I respect. Not long after that I found the Equals Record, summoned up my courage and sent a fan-girlesque letter to Elisabeth and Miya. Slowly I started hanging pictures on the walls and setting out knick-knacks. I settled in to this strange new existence and accepted that maybe things do always happen for a reason, and maybe this was the reason. Maybe I needed time away, time spent in a quiet rural area, time spent with just my husband for company. Maybe I needed the time to slowly heal and accept, and then I needed the time after that to celebrate and see the possibilities again. I needed mornings spent sipping mimosas, afternoons full of video games, and evenings spent writing thoughts on a page. I needed the room and the place. I didn’t know it, but I found both a year ago.