Category Archives: transportation

No Turning Back

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As it always seems to be with me, out of nowhere I decided to head back North to visit friends, check my PO Box, return my overdue library book, rent the smallest moving truck, and get all my stuff out of storage.

Since I had a ride back in the moving truck, I splurged on a Greyhound ticket! (Why is bus travel so freaking expensive in the US?? I mean, really.)  Oh well.  I enjoyed a nice 3 hour ride, chatted with some fun and random bus travelers, and even got to speak a little Spanish at the Denver bus station with a guy who was asking for directions.

What I was expecting to be more of a fun and relaxing time with friends, with a little packing thrown in, turned into a super stressful, overly emotional time for me.

I had a million thoughts, emotions, and to-do lists running non-stop through my head, the entire time I was there.  I certainly did a lot in a very short weekend.

  • It was great to see friends, but the time was too short.
  • Loved being able to get around without having to depend on other people – I could walk everywhere, or take the city bus, or ride my scooter (after I got it out of storage).
  • Felt the love at my Starbucks when the baristas remembered my name, my drink, and asked me where I’d been.
  • Warmed the barstool of my favorite hangout, caught up with my favorite bartenders, and got hit on by college students.
  • Had too many things planned, so only made it to one brewery.
  • Announced a visit to First Friday Art Gallery Walk as a vehicle to see a bunch of friends in one spot.  It was touch and go, but it worked out.
  • Stressed about doing so much in a short amount of time.
  • Realized the realness of the moment. No turning back.

Walked around town, loving all the sights and sounds of the place that became a real home to me.  Got consumed with all the wonderful memories I built there.

Which leads to the pain and heartbreak of second-guessing myself. Am I doing the right thing?  Why am I leaving a town I love?  Maybe I should just forget it all, stay and build my roots back up??

So then I think about what that really means.  Yikes!

  • I’d have to get whatever job I could find
  • Get a little apartment for all my stuff
  • Do the same old stuff, the same routine
  • Now all of a sudden, my future is looking horribly bleak

No no no, I can’t move backwards like that!

A really good friend of mine there has also been thinking about what comes next for her and we had some good chats about what it means to move on.  How do you measure the value of a place?  What are you really leaving behind?

I thought a lot about it.  And I’m not really “leaving” anything.  My real friends will still be my friends.  The town I call “home base” will still be there whenever I come back.  It’s not the end, it’s a new beginning.

I started to feel more motivated, got that fire burning again!

So I worked hard sorting through some of my belongings. Even had some friends come over to pick through and buy some things.  Of course, in doing so, I would actually see all my wonderful little things, relive the stories connected with each item, and lose myself in the melancholy of it all.  I would burst into tears at the oddest moments.  I would get annoyed and angry that I had to deal with all this junk at all.  I hate all this stuff!  Why can’t I just dump it all at the thrift store’s door?

Oh right…I need the money.

Sort, pack, sort, pack.  Have emotional beers with friends.  Go to bed late, attempt to sleep on a friend’s couch, have weird dreams, get up early again.

It was a rough four days.

My brother and sister drove up on Saturday to help me get the truck loaded up.  Three more friends showed up to help carry boxes.  We got the little truck and my sister’s car loaded up super quick!  A Craiglister came by to pick up my hand-me-down loveseat.  Took in one last meal with good friends.  And then headed South with all my worldly possessions.

Three of us unloaded everything into my sister’s garage in 15 minutes.

All of a sudden, in the large expanse of that garage, my few stacks of belongings looked very tiny.

But I am happy.

Now the real work begins.  Wish me luck!

A friend's portrait of my move

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Have I mentioned I don’t like cars?

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So….today found me behind the wheel of a car….the steering wheel, that is.

*pout*

The concept of me actually driving hasn’t come up in about 4 years, so it was a bit of a surprise when the opportunity presented itself.  But since they don’t believe in alternative forms of transportation here, it was bound to come up one of these days.

On a semi-related note, I’ve been working on my ability to say “no”, to not agree to things that make me uncomfortable/unhappy/stressed/whatever, to react in my own manner instead of how I think other people want me to react.

So back to the driving incident…

I was happily enjoying the comfy chair at Starbucks, the reward for a long energetic walk down the trail, when I got a call from my sister.  With the help of a friend, she had delivered her car to the shop for whatever it is you do at the shop.  But after getting the call that the car was ready for pickup, was unable to find someone free to drive her back over there.

I was her last hope.  Like Luke Skywalker.

My sister asked me if there was any chance I would consider driving her over in the other car.  She knew I would probably be at my SBUX and was in the area.  I mumbled something about “maybe” and she promptly showed up to pick me up.

Yikes!

I got in the minivan (passenger side), and immediately started crying!

Wow, really?

Panicking at the possibility of maybe driving??

She drove us back over to the house and we sat in her driveway for quite awhile.  She brainstormed other ways of getting her car, while I went through tissue after tissue, as my brain processed the situation.

On one hand, I didn’t want to agree to something I was not comfortable with, just because I “should” do it.  I didn’t want to feel pressured by obligation – one of my big no-no’s.

But then again, it wasn’t like I didn’t know how to drive.  And it was only for a short distance.  (Now if it was a road trip to another city, then no, I couldn’t actually, physically, do that because driving puts me to sleep and that’s just dangerous.)  But it was only a few miles away, to the shop and back.  And I could drive my sister’s Subaru, which would be easier than the big minivan.

So what was the big hairy deal??

I’m scared of this city.  It’s a lawless place with dangerous and selfish drivers.  I would rather ride a scooter in Big City Asia.

But probably, mostly, I was just freaking myself out at the fear of the unknown.  I hadn’t driven a car in years, I didn’t know these streets, or the car, and I didn’t trust the drivers on the road.  Great Big Scary Unknown. This was NOT an acceptable reason to say no.

Thankfully my sister was very patient and understanding with my tears and thought process.  Never actually pressuring me to just Help Her Out, Dammit!

Finally put on my Big Girl Panties, took a deep breath, and made the oh-so-very-brave decision to Just Do It!

We drove out to the shop, I hopped in the Subaru, figured out what/where everything was, did a test drive around the block to make sure I knew what I was doing, and then we were off!

As soon as I was actually driving, I was fine.  No stress.  No tears.  I followed my sister all the way back to her house and didn’t get lost or run into anything.

It wasn’t until I parked (poorly) and got out of the car, that I realized my hands were shaking.  But I was proud of myself for doing something scary, for conquering my fear of that particular unknown.

My sis drove back to work (because she’s a crazy workaholic) and I WALKED the mile down the hill to the nearest pub.

I needed a drink!