The secret of life? Get used to it.

I’m about to move again. One of the most stressful events in life, right next to death of a loved one, divorce and job loss. Yup.

I just did this, didn’t I? 13 months ago, I moved into the middle of downtown Boston. My view of the skyline was my consolation prize to the mountain horizon I had planned on (with a last minute turnabout from moving to Colorado.) I did it for an amazing job opportunity. I did it for convenience. And I pretty much resisted it as my home for the entire last year.  I am not a City Girl. (Unless the city is Paris.) Left the job. Leaving the cityscape. Onward and, literally, upward.

Next month, I’m moving up to the what locals call the “North Shore.” A lovely, quintessential New England town near the water and nature that I crave. It’s a short 25-minute drive to my new job. I can run down back roads and to the beach. I can paint the antique barn across the street. I can walk to the farmer’s market every week. Or garden, I could garden! It’s the picture of my life I created in my head. And then, I made it happen. I materialized an ad agency job in a small town. I found a place to live in an even smaller town. And it’s all coming together in a way that once didn’t seem possible but yet, it suddenly is. I made this life.

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And now, I’m scared shitless.

I moving away from everyone I know. I don’t own enough (small-city, apartment) furniture to fill my spacious small town home. The town is so small, I’ll have to physically drive my trash to a pay transfer station. There will not be a Starbucks on the corner. After many crying spells. Many. After much scurrying about in my apartment trying, and failing miserably, to get my old life in order so I can move on to my new one. I figured something out.

I just. Have to. Get used to it. This is that Pema-Chodronesque-groundlessness of living. I’m in the middle again. Between the Next and the Is. I’m not quite anywhere but in transition, and it’s unsettling. Epiphany. (For the millionth time.)

Most of life we’re trying to get used to things. Until we do. And then we’re bored. Or unchallenged. Or just restless. And then we shake things up again. I tell myself this fabulous theory because it’s the only thing that makes sense. Today, anyway.

An old friend of mine said to me recently, “You are not your feelings. Their transient. Feel them. Then move on to the next one.” Genius, right? I thought so. I think to myself, if I am not my feelings, why can’t I look them square in the eye and tell them to F off? There are holes in my good friend’s argument.

It’s hard to get used to the shifting. It’s not fun to roll with the punches. Life change is like that joke you think is funny and want to laugh at but have a sneaking suspicion the joke is on you. The uneasiness will pass. Right? Right.

This I am sure of. There will be a day when I’m running back from the salt marsh. A night when I’m watching a meteor shower from the dark coastal skies. A morning when I’m happy there isn’t a traffic light to wait for when I’m crossing the street. And, then, the uncertainty will have become the norm. The What If will have become the Is. The shifting will come from the sea breeze and the sand dunes.

That’s the idea. Get used to it.

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From living in Mahattan to making manhattans.

Why I Gave Up a $95,000 Job to Move to an Island…

This story has been going around the Internet lately. And why not. It’s proof positive that it can be done. A well-paid, Yale-educated, New York City writer chucks it all for sunshine and cocktails… Read Noelle Hancock’s Story