Cambridge days / by vanessa

For my birthday last year I received a card with a picture of a girl in wheel pose and the inscription: “‘Funny’, she said, 'how much right-side-up can come from upside-down.'" That's exactly how I feel right now.
I have spent the last four months with life as I had previously known it now unrecognizable -- the end of a long-term relationship, the selling of my house and car, and all of it culminating in a move by myself halfway across the country. Though this transitional period has been punctuated with highly charged emotions, I've felt quietly motivated to keep moving forward.
Stepping off the plane at Logan last Tuesday morning, fear and sadness enveloped me as the gravity of following an inner voice finally hit. This was for real -- my new home. No longer was it a future plan clouded in naive optimism. The day went on and the fear temporarily subsided as I had to focus on the logistics of moving in and working. Until of course I tried to brave Boston driving. Attempting to go to a yoga class, I wound up lost for 2 1/2 hours. An hour and a half of that was spent hysterical on the phone as Hav patiently tried to google me back to Cambridge. At the time I angrily berated my foolishness -- what I had just done??? I should have stayed in Austin, what was I thinking, etc.
A friend of mine recently told me that I seem to have been living in a bubble. Smug in my assumed awareness, I didn't immediately understand what this meant. Until this week. While I don't think I'm through this wonderfully horrifying and transformative journey (on the contrary it feels as if I've really only just begun), even as I've been filled with sadness, fear, pain, loneliness, and joy, I know that getting out of the sedated ease of Austin is the best thing I could have done. Here, in the unfamiliarity of my surroundings, emotions that I would typically eschew in favor of happiness (e.g. fear) have been strangely comforting.
I have never lacked for friends or things to do regardless of where I've lived. In past moves I quickly found ways to build a community and pass the hours. Yet this time I feel commanded, almost, to let there be space in my solitude and to be aware and judicious about how I choose to spend my time.
Not being in Austin anymore, I can see now how comfortable my life had been. Comfort isn't a bad thing; in fact I believe I needed it under my belt, but I don't think that that life was serving my higher purpose anymore. And though I am still nostalgic, especially when I feel alone, I am constantly reminded of something I learned at Menla: "If you fight for your limitations, your prize will be that you'll get to keep them."
Only a few days into my new life, I am already reaping the blessings of moving into the unknown. Funnily, 2500 miles away from my friends, I feel closer to them now that I'm here. Knowing that we can't just meet for lunch or happy hour at Trudy's, I cherish the times when we speak or IM. I've found that I feel more at home in a place that I'm renting than I did in the house I owned. I am re-defining my friendship with Hav in a way that allows us both the ability to be supportive on our separate paths. Having not taught now for two weeks (save for the brief times at L2 - more on that someday) I'm realizing that it's an integral part of me that I really, really miss. And, I'm slowly learning what it means to surrender and be open both in friendship and in life without expectation or fear.
Off to yoga.