Chapters

Shall we light that candle?!
— the new girl in 317

I have two fatal flaws: 1) I fall in love too easily and 2) I am too rigid. I am not so sure I can change the first, so I am constantly working on the second. My best friend is always reminding me that if I don't learn to adapt, one day I will break. I am a creature of habit. I have set routines, and I hate deviating from them. But really, I find even the smallest of changes irksome.

Which is why this past Saturday threw me for a loop. My whole world changed. I moved apartments and suddenly, I take a different route to the metro, I sleep on the other side of the bed, and my clothes are not organized in the same way. It's complete chaos, and I love it. Instead of the change creating stress or frustration, it invigorated me. The move was more than a fresh start, it became a catalyst.

When I finally caught my breath on Sunday evening, it dawned on me: I have always loved moving. It's a Dewey Decimal System for life. Every memory catalogued according to a specific city or house. MOTS and her brothers moved every four years thanks to my Grandfather's job with Union Pacific. I love hearing them tell stories, because they all start the same way, "Do you remember when we lived in _______ ..." They name a city, and everyone snaps right back to that moment in time. They know exactly how old they were, what school they were in, and who their friends were. They know which pets arrived, and which mysteriously "ran away." (My Grandmother wasn't a fan of animals.) 

I've watched my family define their lives by moves. Lives divided into chapters where each new address served as the title. Over the past eight years, I have done the same. Fenwick. Roncalli. 2000 Commonwealth Avenue. Voute. Split Rail Court. 1600 Joyce Street. 1401 Joyce Street. Each move a new chapter with growth and change. The girl who moved out was never the same as the one who moved in. I have evolved. Not necessarily because I wanted to, but because life forced me. Yet, this move was different. This move changed more than the scenery outside my window, it changed me. 

I get it. I understand what my friend has been saying all these years. I finally get it. 

I have wasted enough energy fighting change. Trying to hold onto memories and people. I am exhausted trying to fight the current, and I am done. It was a hard lesson to learn that we can't stay in one place or one moment forever. Leaving them behind is part of life. We have to let go. So when we look back, we can appreciate how perfect things were. To be in the same time and place means we aren't growing. We are not living.

Before I walked into my new space I purged. I purged everything that wasn't working in my life. Some decisions were small, like getting rid of clothes that no longer fit, and others were big, like deciding to leave J.Crew. I am dedicating this chapter to change. To progress. I moved my entire world in two hours on Saturday morning, and I will not look back. The fear and inconvenience of change will not become my Achilles heel.

This is going to be the year (well fourteen months, because that's how long the lease is...) of risks, and the unknown. I am going to ask questions knowing the worst answer will only be "no." I am going to make decisions, instead of just wishing. I am not going to hold onto things for fear of losing them. Sunday evening I finally lit the Diptyque candle I had been holding out on lighting. I wanted it to be the right moment, and I couldn't think of better way to seal my intentions for this next chapter than by lighting it. I've stopped to smell the Roses long enough. I am (finally) ready to trail blaze.