Saturday, January 7, 2012

Life Changes

In the past several months I’ve been caught up in some significant life changes. Starting as far back as September, my husband, Herman, and I began to prepare our San Rafael house to sell while looking for a new home in Palm Springs.

Over the past few months we have held a dozen open houses in San Rafael, walked through three dozen homes in Palm Springs, found a beautiful new house as well as sold our old one, moved into our new home on Christmas Eve, and began to settle into a new life here in PS.

What seemed so easy to type out in a single paragraph actually was a very high stress, often painful experience of letting go and flinging ourselves off a cliff and into a sea of unknown. It has been a scary path, but one that once we started down we could not turn back.

I’m sitting in my new office overlooking our front yard. Classic Japanese landscaping in San Rafael have been replaced with cactus and palms; gentle, green rolling hills have turned to rugged brown mountains; and our cozy, open Eichler is now a sprawling, midcentury ranch style home. In short: everything is different, everything is new. I feel somewhat disoriented, with only Herman and my writing as constants that I can latch on to.

I know that for some people this kind of move is no big deal. They’ve done it several times and, for them, it’s fun and exciting. But I’m a person who lived in the same house for almost thirty years. That house was my life raft to cling to in a changing world. For me this is an extremely big deal.

I’m sitting here wondering how many times in my life I’ve leaped into the unknown, and been the better for it. Certainly the time I left home to join the Navy. And the time I came home from the navy with a husband instead of a wife. There was the time I walked away from a seventeen-year relationship, only to jump into my current relationship a few years later. And the time I ran from a lucrative corporate career to be a little-known writer of gay literature.

Yes, I’ve experienced times of big letting go, but what I’m realizing here (a lesson I keep learning over and over) is that every day is a time of letting go, of leaping into the unknown. That is what life is, what makes it worth living. The trick is not clinging to yesterday, but embracing now. Okay, it’s a cliché, so shoot me. Lol

Yes, it is a cliché, but it’s also THE KEY to being happy and content in life.
And the truth is, Herman and I are loving our new home, our new city, our new friends that we’ve already made. The last two weeks have seemed like being blown along on hurricane force winds, and we are carried along, smiling, and taking each moment as it comes.

For the moment—and in truth that’s all we have—as I sit here, I can say without hesitation that we are happy and loving this new environment, and I am so grateful that we made that leap. The unknown is an exciting place to explore. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes: "When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be." - Lao Tzu


Victor J. Banis said...

Happy New Home. If I ever get back to California, maybe I can come for a visit. And, yes, it's always about leaping into the void. It's been a year of big changes for me, too, but I've managed to sail atop the waves.

Love to you both,

Kristoffer Gair said...

I'm not fond of change either. I even used to cry as a child when my parents would buy a new vehicle and got rid of the old one.

The comfort zones we create around us can be replaced in time, but it's the uncertainty and discomfort that make it a pain in the ass. These days, as long as I have a Best Buy around me, I feel close to civilization.

You don't happen to have one near you, do you? If so, go buy a Blu-Ray. It'll help. =)

Lloyd Meeker said...

Wishing you every happiness in your new home, Alan and Herman!

And may it open a new chapter of creativity and fulfillment for you.

Dorien Grey said...

Congratulations, Alan. Your points are positive, well taken, and well stated. I wish you and Herman continued...and growing...happiness as you write more in this chapter of your life.

Amber said...

My blog explored on this very theme several days ago, although the changes I face are far less comprehensive. I hope you love your new home and your new view, and that you can keep what you love best of the old.

Erik Orrantia said...

I think it's an era of change for so many. May 2012 be one of positive leaps! Best wishes in your new home.