Saturday, September 6, 2014

Life Changes

In the three years I’ve been caught up in some significant life changes. Starting as far back as 2011, my husband, Herman, and I began to prepare our San Rafael house to sell while looking for a new home in Palm Springs. 

We 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 2011, 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 PS office overlooking our front yard. Classic Japanese landscaping in San Rafael has been replaced with cactus and palms; gentle, green rolling hills has 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 still 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 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 huge 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

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