First, one realizes that they are irritated over The Way Things Are and a nebulous feeling of malcontent that's the size of a nugget grows into an Annoyance.
That Annoyance balloons internally until it materializes into actual words that burst out of your mouth to anyone who might listen. As the feelings spill out, the Annoyance becomes solidified and one begins to feel self-righteous. Now, it's become an Issue.
Slowly, one's perspective becomes shaded. The Issue nags incessantly and relentlessly. One tries to fix the problem to no avail. The easy answers don't work. And the incessant nagging continues until one detaches emotionally...just for the sake of survival. The Way Things Are becomes vilified. It is now Intolerable. It cannot continue. Which is when the Decision to Change occurs.
After months or even years of agony, the Decision to Change happens almost like flipping a light switch. Snap! And you're ready to move on. Just.like.that.
Once The Decision is in motion and there is no turning back, one's perspective changes again. Nostalgia seeps in and the once reviled Way Things Are becomes charming again. Little pangs of doubt start knocking on the brain and one begins to second-guess the Decision.
"Egads, what was I thinking? This is huge. I'm terrified! I could never be as happy as I used to be. For the love of Mary, what have I done?!" Fear envelopes the brain and heart. And suddenly, the once confident Decision-Maker feels adrift and in flux.
The Way Things Are is no longer possible. And The Way Things Are Gonna Be doesn't exist yet.
I have gone through this process many, many times. With men I've stopped dating, with every job change, and now, with this relocation to Colorado.
Today I found myself admiring the gorgeous trees lining our street. I became wistful when thinking about our fabulous, supportive and trustworthy neighbors. And I dwelled on the fact that we will never, ever be able to afford to move back.
Last month, I rotated a list of 100 things that I hate about the Bay Area through my mind.
- The painful memories in this house and at the assisted care facility.
- The cost of living.
- The inability to buy a bigger house.
- The freakish politics.
- The terrible school systems.
- The commute time to work.
- And an overall feeling of restlessness...because the area seemed stale...a perspective tainted from living here for over 20 years.
Intellectually, I'm confident that we'll make it through and things will work out. But in my heart, I'm utterly panicked over the possibility that I may have really screwed-up. Because at this point in the process, we have sold our house and we're moving to an unknown area with unknown neighborhoods and never-experienced-before weather conditions.
I'm excited. I'm scared. And I'm getting just a little Wiggy.