Some life changes are a result of external conditions (like being offered a job somewhere new, going through a break-up, etc), and in these cases, a lot of the decisions and choices you have to make are based out of necessity to adapt to the new reality. The reality of your everyday life has changed - whether you were prepared for it or not - and certain decisions and choices are simply unavoidable.
On the other hand, there are moments in life when deciding to stay on the same course, or taking a sharp turn in a new direction are - for the most part - entirely up to you. Leaving New York at the end of last year was one of these moments for me. I've lived in NY for 12 years, 9 of which in the same garden apartment in Brooklyn (who has a garden in Brooklyn?? I did. Which is why I held on to it for so long).
2020 was a rough year in NY. Covid hit us hard first here in the U.S. in mid-March, with little to no mental preparation. All social life - one of the main perks of living in a big city like NY - came to an abrupt halt, while over time the city's social services crumbled as people were struggling the most. On a personal level, my social circle kept shrinking, my income diminished, and to top it all off, In October, my already decaying apartment had a leak for weeks before the landlady took care of it - which we then learned was a sewage leak (!!). Life was a literal shitshow 💩.
Sure, the leak was fixed and things could have just gone back to normal, but somewhere deep inside, all of the emotional currents of this past year were slowly growing in intensity, and this bursting pipe in my apartment had also burst the dam of my willingness to keep accepting reality as it were.
This led to a flood of questions and uncertainties. Where will we go? How will we pay rent, survive, make a living? Bryan and I gave our notices on our apartments, and started treading the waters of uncertainty, while practicing "trust the universe" and regularly reminding ourselves of our resourcefulness, holding on to these as our imaginary buoy.
In early December, when time was running out and we still didn't have any concrete leads, we put up a post on facebook, asking our friends for ideas and possible opportunities across the country. 48 hours later, we got an email from a college friend of Bryan's sister, offering us to live in her weekend log-house home (with an attached pool and a pond!) for the next 5 months, in exchange for doing a couple of renovation projects. A couple of email exchanges and a phone call 3 days later we had a virtual handshake, which lifted a huge load off of our chests.
This spring equinox marks our half-way point in our stay here. Last week we finally dipped our toes in the inevitable conversation about what will be our next chapter. We're back in the water of uncertainty, but it's a lot less scary this time. While the big questions remain to be answered, so many elements that caused us stress the first time (will we be able to fit all our stuff in a trailer? will the car make it? how much money will we end up spending? etc) are practically non-issues this time. And while being in a stream of rapid waters can be stressful, if you hold on to your buoy and let the stream carry you, eventually you'll end up onshore. ⛵