Monday August 26, 2013 | Musings
The transition from living in Paris to life in the U.S. has been a rough and bumpy one. With no clear destination in mind it seemed.
But today, I can finally reveal where I’m going with certainty.
Since moving back, I have been coping with copious amounts of instability and uncertainty.
My travel trajectory has been staggered and zig-zagged. Like that of a drunken bumble bee’s.
During the past two months, I have literally been living out of a suitcase. Crashing from one family or friend’s place to the next. And even working a little side job in order to give myself time to figure out the next step of this transition.
It’s been… tough.
I am the kind of person who needs routine and a regular rhythm in order to be productive. And when I don’t have these things, my focus is scattered.
Leading such an irregular lifestyle has greatly reduced my productivity and creativity. Which is why I haven’t been as active on this blog as I would have liked.
[My travel path during the past two months.]
The hardest part of all has been the uncertainty of not knowing where I was going to live next.
The decision basically hinged on my boyfriend’s job and where his company was going to send him.
The process of finding out where we were going has been more complicated and ridiculous than you could possibly imagine.
There were many times when we thought we were moving somewhere, became excited, made preparations for it, only to have our plans dashed with no other clear destination given to us.
I was incredibly frustrated.
[Where do we go from here...?]
Granted, the options dangled before us had all been alluring. There was talk of moving to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and even New York.
Each time I became fixated on an idea, it was difficult for me to change that vision which I’d already begun to flesh out in my mind.
But mainly, I was frustrated because of the little control that I felt we had over our lives and where we were going.
I felt like we were being strung along with the promise of security and stability. But only after we’d endured the most unstable and irregular of circumstances. And actually, this has been going on much longer than I’d like to admit.
It got to the point that I no longer even cared about where we were going.
I just simply… wanted… to know.
In the end, I got the destination I’d originally really really wanted.
But only after I’d stopped wanting it.
The verdict is finally out…
We are moving to San Francisco. And this time, it’s for real.
There are a lot of other details about how complicated nomadic life has been for the past two years. But there’s no need to talk about that here.
All I have to say is that I’m rather surprised and impressed with the way I’ve carried myself with such grace during this transition period.
There was a time when I used to deal with stress and uncertainty very very badly. I’m talking about always being on the verge of a panic attack or a nervous breakdown.
But I have come a long way since those days.
Now I cope with stress much more positively. I practice mindful breathing. I regularly do yoga and meditate. I carefully guard my health.
When I start thinking too much, I stop. And bring myself back to the present.
These coping mechanisms are not something I developed overnight. They are habits that have been years and years in the making.
And the difference that they now make in my life could not be more evident.
Am I excited about San Francisco? Oh god, yes.
But the truth is, I will never have that perfect stability that I crave. That’s just life, filled with unexpected curve balls.
So I will no longer allow myself to get too attached to the way I would like for things to turn out.
That was the most important lesson I’ve had to learn during this transition period.
So maybe, just maybe, all that uncertainty and ridiculous complexity was worth it in the end…
I still think I probably could have done without it.
What about you? How do you deal with uncertainty and the complexities of life?
Do you deal with it head on, or stick your head in the sand like an ostrich?