Monday, July 27, 2009

It's Been too Long But I Have an Excuse

It is 3:27 am, and I am sitting in the middle of our living room floor in our apartment eating dry Cracklin Oat Bran and marking packing boxes with a thick black Sharpie. As the all important moving date of August 16th draws closer, I have turned into a Kellogg-eating insomniac who is even more tightly wound than usual.

I’ve moved more than any person I know (outside of my family), and yet moving stresses me out. Big time. Every time.

There are always hiccups when you decide one day to just pack up your life and leave, but I didn’t count on all the small obstacles that Josh and I have been faced with so far in our move to the Fabulous Las Vegas. Certain small “crises” have cut my available time shorter than I expected. I have barely spent any time with my local friends and family. I also have yet to adhere to my cardinal rule before relocating: Make a list and then experience all the places you want to see and one last time.

But despite whether I’ve been able to have coffee with an old friend just one last time or if my armoire sells on Craigs List for the price I want, this move is happening. We’ve given our apartment notice to vacate, Josh’s transfer has officially gone through, and my hands are constantly marred black from felt-tip markers. It’s all very real and scary at the moment, just like any big move should be.

Most of the time, I’ve been too stressed or consumed with the details to really focus on what’s happening. We’re leaving. For good. And this time, I don’t want to move back again. While it has its good points, the Pacific Northwest and I don’t mesh well together. Nothing ties me here anymore, and I feel I’ve been caged up for far too long. Some of us are born with wanderlust, and Lord knows I was given a hearty dose.

Las Vegas will be good for me. For both of us. We thrive in the desert heat – it’s almost unnatural.

But despite dying to get out, I still have my moments. It’s the way the trees look in the distance off my patio when the sun filters through their branches. It’s the way the elderly vendor tips his hat to me when I pass his table of freshly arranged bouquets in Pike Place Market. It’s the way the summer night smells here, as I press my face to the screen window and inhale deeply.

I hate it, and yet…I’ll miss it.

It’s hard to push ourselves to take that leap of faith and remove ourselves from our comfort zones. Moving is growing. Growing is learning. Learning is life. And I’ve always been the kid who wanted the most excitement for her time.

Life is full of uncertainties. Maybe it will be amazing, and maybe it won’t. Maybe we’ll love it, and maybe we’ll hate it. Maybe we’ll become wildly rich and famous, or maybe we’ll just be lucky to escape the luxurious accommodations of an empty Toshiba box.

Either way, it’ll be an experience I wanted to have. An experience I felt I should have for a long time now.

When we first visited Nevada, a young bartender kindly decided to show Josh and I the “sites of Las Vegas” in the very early morning hours. We drove out to the Red Rock Canyon Resort where I eagerly ran down the gorgeous marble flooring just outside the back of the casino and up to the railing that overlooked the canyon. The sun was just starting to rise, and the quiet surrounding landscape was beginning to awaken into its infamous red coloring. I spread my arms wide and splayed my fingers as far as I could. The warm dry air gently whipped through my body, and I closed my eyes to relish a feeling I hadn’t felt in years.

“What are you doing over there?” Josh’s words carried over to me from the distance.

I remember that I didn’t turn around. I didn’t answer back. I didn’t dare open my eyes. But slowly a smile crept over my face as I savored the overwhelming knowledge that all of life’s possibilities were endless.