Time To Let Go
I had a five-hour drive to let reality sink in. I just left great friends and a job that I loved, a house full of memories and the feel of warm hugs from my kids at a moment’s notice. After 17 years, I was moving to a new city to be with my husband in a new home, and all I had with me was the dog and my clothes. Oh, and I was six months into a 12-Step program for food addiction. What the hell was I thinking? I was thinking that I didn’t bring enough tissues!
Ten years ago, my husband was offered a job in Boston and I refused to leave. I told him, “I’m not pulling the kids out of school and away from their friends.” I also didn’t want to leave my friends, especially since I had already done that once before. The kids don’t really remember that move. I, however, do remember it and how desperately I missed my friends and family. It took me two years to finally feel “at home” in that new house. I now had to go through finding that feeling of being at home all over again.
My new home is a one-bedroom apartment (a far cry from my four-bedroom house with a basement and huge backyard). The new place sits on a busy street, with all of busy sound effects that traffic can bring. I had forgotten the lack of privacy one has with common-wall neighbors. If I can hear them cough or sneeze, they surely can hear my conversations with the dog, on the phone, or with my husband. It’s amazing what I’ve learned about them without any exchange of conversation.
I chose to make this move because of my prior refusal, and the fact that the timing seemed good for everyone involved. The kids were almost all out (or wanting to be) on their own, I was going to have three months of down time (I worked at a public school) and it seemed like a good time to start the “empty nest” phase of my life. By making the move, I would not be able to fall back into old habits of enabling either my children or myself. It was time for me to grow up. I needed this fresh start, even if I didn’t want it!
Finding a job was difficult. Filing for unemployment was out of the question as I had never worked in the new state; and I couldn’t collect from the old state since I no longer lived there. I was fortunate to get hired for holiday help in retail and they allowed me to stay on after the season was finished. It’s not my dream job, but it IS a job. I feel very fortunate to have one!
I’ve been in my new home for about a year now, and still feel as though it is temporary. I’ve kept my old driver’s license, car registration, and have yet to begin moving any of my stuff from the old house “just in case.” Letting go is not one of my strong points, but I am learning. Working the Steps of my program of recovery has helped me let go of many things I thought I would have with me forever. Every now and then I catch a glimpse of the light ahead and am able to shed one more layer of something unnecessary in my life, including some bad habits, some weight and some really nasty feelings.
Anyone who is working a program of recovery knows the range of feelings that one can experience. Some days are filled with agony, white-knuckling and despair. On the other hand, the good days are filled with joy, hope and sense of well being that makes life full of adventure and new possibilities. My program, and the people I’ve come to know through it, has been my saving grace.
When I start to feel a little sorry for myself, I look for another glimpse of light and remember how far I’ve come, and how the difficulty of letting go has eased. I thank God for texting and facebook, as they both give me the feeling of connection. I now rely a little more on the Big Guy in the Sky and try to have more faith and patience. The answers will come when I’m supposed to know them. The dream job will appear when I’m ready for it. The people who mean the most to me will not be far, even if it is a bit of a drive. It’s all going to be okay.
LIZ BURGESS: Born and raised in Southern California, Liz can still conjure up the smells of the beach in a heartbeat. While raising four children, she began documenting their antics and in the process realized that writing was just as enjoyable as eating chocolate. Liz has been writing all of her life, but only recently began taking herself seriously. Her blog, “No Excuses-Musings of a Procrastinator” began as a self-improvement commitment, and has been a terrific platform for improving her writing, networking with other writers, and stepping outside of her comfort zone, all of which have been very rewarding. http://noexcuses318.blogspot.com.
You can connect with Liz Burgess on Facebook, or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SONIA MARSH SAYS: I think your statement, “When I start to feel a little sorry for myself, I look for another glimpse of light and remember how far I’ve come, and how the difficulty of letting go has eased,” will resonate with many readers. Learning to be patient and to accept change is not easy, and we need to be reminded about this.
ANTHOLOGY LAUNCH UPDATE
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