*Disclaimer: Most of this post was written over 7 months ago, when I wrongly believed that my house was sold. (Oh, how young and naive I was.) I started to write a congratulatory (and somewhat panicked) summary of how I was feeling in the midst of this transformational moment in my life… and then I abandoned ship when the sale didn’t quite pan out. Since then, I have lived through the highs and lows of additional offers that have fallen through, each time becoming more anxious and eager to sell. And now, over a year after listing the property, my house has actually sold.
Or, should I say, the house? It isn’t mine anymore. It is betrothed to another. It is no longer mine. It is surreal and strange to feel that using the word “my” isn’t even appropriate anymore. This is just a place for me to sleep and house my clothes. It is currently a hot mess of boxes and empty cupboards and I will be out of here in about 3 weeks. It is all very odd but satisfyingly clear that this is exactly how it was supposed to happen.
When I reread the extremely premature post that I started before the sale was really a final sale, and considered the title of the post (which is left exactly as it was when I started to write in April), what strikes me the most is that I really got it right with that concept: Sold. Or, Everything’s Changing. EVERYTHING IS CHANGING. And everything is ALWAYS changing… because the things I expressed in April have evolved and shifted and grown in such a way that reading my April segment feels like I’m reading from a different story altogether. The story-teller is the same, but she’s changed a lot in half a year.
April 2016: Written prior to the first heartbreak of an almost-sale.
My house is officially sold. It is so unreal that I sort of need to say it again: My house is officially sold. This is huge. This is really and truly and finally the beginning of the end of my 7-year relationship (and 6-month divorce). It didn’t occur to me until very recently that this break-up isn’t really over until the house is sold, the closing papers signed, and all of our things divided and moved out. While this house is still owned in both our names, while his last few things sit collecting dust in the basement, while the cats he will eventually take live here, we are still in a twisted post-divorce relationship. By default I am and continue to be intrinsically connected to my ex no matter how much I think and feel that I am ready to be separated from him. Until the day we walk away from this beautiful home forever, we are still part of each other’s lives and it was a total shock when I finally had this realization. (How was this not glaringly obvious from the start?) Here I was thinking I was moving forward, when really I have just been teetering on the verge of that final major change without quite falling off the ledge. Well. Now I’m in a free fall. Everything’s changing.
With this change comes an influx of varying thoughts and emotions that change more often than I can keep track: Relieved that the house has finally sold. Sad that I have to leave the (now broken) home that I have cherished for over 5 years. Happy that I can finally move on from this break-up. Heartbroken that I soon have to say goodbye to my cats. Satisfied that we were able to sell for the price we wanted. Scared (with a side of panic) that I am moving into the next phase of my life which is completely unknown and unplanned. Excited for the immediate possibilities just ahead of me now that I won’t have the burden of a mortgage and house to care for. Stressed about packing my entire house in less than a month. And just exhausted by the range of emotions.
When I first shared that I was going through this separation, I wrote about my need to take things one day at a time. Those digestible days started to roll into one another and soon weeks turned into months and I started to see this break-up in phases and steps. But all along, I felt this wonderful comfort living in a limbo where I was somewhat stuck between moving forward and staying completely still in the tightly bound restriction of my unsold house. So here I am, now freed of that constraint, and the certainty of change has me paralyzed.
Most people dislike change. Or at least this is a general assumption I have made to make myself feel better about my utter repulsion at uncontrolled change. It is uncomfortable and scary and I won’t deny it – I hate it! But… I am trying to embrace it, first, because I have no choice and second, because I know that the benefits of this particular change will be positive and exciting. When I shared my Thirty Thoughts at the beginning of the year I wrote about pushing to get out of my comfort zone and this is the biggest push I can think of. The fact that I can’t control it makes it an even better adventure, because I will have to force myself to let go and live my mantra of nonetofigo by going with the flow and making choices when they are immediately in front of me. Scary! Trying to frame it as exciting!
As I have inched toward that sold sign being displayed on my front lawn (FYI, selling a house is a crazy process), I have tried to mentally prepare myself for the discomfort of change that is just ahead of me. Going to yoga really helps, mainly by keeping me grounded and helping me release stress – that hour on my mat is an exercise in breathing slowly while focusing on my body and spirit, and after each session I feel calm and happy and at peace with whichever emotion might be at the top of my heart on that given day. Lately I have taken this further by setting an intention at the start of each session. This is something a few of the instructors encourage for your hour of practice and it’s a simple statement you repeat to yourself – may I be happy, may I be calm, may I find strength, etc. I always make a point to choose an intention that reflects how I’m feeling off the mat – to love myself and enjoy my time alone, to release my stress and anxiety, to say yes and try to live with yes energy, and so on.
When it became clear in recent weeks that the sale of my house was imminent, I found myself regularly repeating “may I embrace change” at the start of each session. Hopefully it’s preparing me for what’s ahead and incredibly, the very first time I set this intention I was offered the opportunity to embrace change almost immediately. It was a Monday night session of yoga with a new instructor I had never seen before and mid-way through the hour she announced that we would be doing wall yoga for the rest of the session. Wall Yoga! Talk about a major change in my usual yoga routine. I laughed to myself internally, repeated “may I embrace change” and (delicately) jumped into the harness.
It was terrifying for about 3 minutes… and then so much fun. You literally hang off the wall in your usual poses and completely let go, allowing the harness and gravity to hold you in place while pulling you downward in perfect harmony. It is one of the most liberating things I have ever done in my life: The act of relinquishing all control, releasing the fear of falling, and finding that magical spot between hanging and holding myself firmly in the pose, all while taking those deep and calming breaths… it was amazing. Yoga already makes me feel so powerful in body and mind, so pushing sideways off a wall with just the tips of my toes brought me to superhero level.
The universe was clearly trying to send me a message when I set that intention for the first time. Embracing change doesn’t have to be terrible. It can actually be the greatest feeling in the world. I don’t think I could make this statement without having gone through the process of evolving from being totally scared of letting go in that harness to being completely enthralled with the powerful energy I felt once I got past the initial discomfort. And I know this experience was meant to happen exactly when it did, just as I find myself on the very edge of this immense change in my life.
So although it is difficult, I am trying my best to put a positive spin on the coming changes. The safety of my limbo between the break-up and my new life has put me into a lull that I’ve been happy to settle into – you can’t make major choices or changes when you still have the responsibility of a shared mortgage with your former boyfriend, and that’s suited me just fine. It’s like I hit pause on my life while the house has been listed so I could go through the process of grieving for and moving on from the relationship.
Now I’m approaching the end of that cosy little pause; it’s time to hit the play button and I’m going to have to start making decisions about what happens next. There are some big questions looming… Where will I go? What will I do? Who will I share my life with? Have I really learned from the failings of my last relationship and will I be better in my next? It’s a lot to think about and with every question comes the implication of another change in my life. It’s scary. But sort of exciting. As my sister told me on one of my bad days when the prospect of all this change had me in a panic, the possibilities are endless and that’s not a bad thing! I have all the freedom in the world to do whatever I want – the only limitation is what I choose to impose upon myself.
My intention to embrace change in that yoga class and the ensuing adventures in wall yoga feel like a microcosm of my entire life and current situation. Saying yes to change instead of no, feeling that very real fear when confronted with making a change, going through the uncomfortable process of changing, and then realizing that the change is better than anything I could have imagined was exhilarating. I’m starting to believe that this could apply in all areas of my life and I think I’m actually getting on board with my sister’s excitement about the endless possibilities (instead of letting the crippling fear take me over). It’s a choice to say “yes, this is scary, but yes, this will be thrilling too.” It’s a decision to let go and accept that it’s impossible to control everything. It’s the difference between jumping and falling off that ledge. I like to think of it as somewhere in between – I want to jump fearlessly into the unknown and fall with an open heart toward whatever will come, knowing that wherever I land will be a place filled with people I love, fuelled by the positive energy that I bring with me.
November 2016: Written after a year of divorce and growth.
So much changed in the 7 months since I first thought my house was sold. My 6-month divorce extended into a year-long debacle that dragged on for so long that I would sometimes forget that I still had a house for sale and an ex-boyfriend still in my life. People would ask me if it was hard and stressful to still have this going on, and it became such a standard part of my existence that I would just shrug and say, “meh, not really”.
And yet, when I got the call from my agent – the call confirming that all the conditions were lifted, meaning that this was really done – I cried. I laughed and I shrieked and I cried, and I felt as though a physical weight had been lifted off of me. It was a weight that I had carried for so long that I didn’t even realize it was there, dragging me down and telling me that this was normal, this was real life. The shift was unbelievable. Suddenly I felt so light and so free – able to breath, able to stretch, able to lift my head and consider everything available to me in this enormous and amazing world. No more limbo.
Reading the incredibly long thought process about my impending (and then aborted) exit from limbo shows me how much things really do change. (And also how they sort of don’t?)
- I don’t have cats anymore. I said goodbye to them in July and it was heartbreaking… but I survived.
- Moving in less than a month? HA! What was I so worried about? I have 3 weeks this time and I’m thrilled to be ripping off this bandage as quickly as possible.
- I haven’t been to yoga in months… and this trip down memory lane has reminded me how much I was getting from that practice. Why did I ever give it up?
- At some point between April and November, I started to embrace the things that scare me. There’s something exhilarating about being afraid and pushing through that fear – there’s nothing quite like breaking through to the other side. To me, it brings out these amazing feelings of being powerful and alive.
- I feel dubious about how optimistic I was by the end of my April post. Was I fooling myself into thinking that I was ready for these big changes? Was it a beautiful lie I told to find comfort when so much was uncertain? I’m not sure that I really felt ready to move forward… compared to now when I’m practically counting the days until this is all behind me.
- The big questions still plague me (Where will I go? What will I do next? How will I do in my next relationship?) and so do the people asking them (CAN I JUST MOVE OUT OF MY HOUSE AND END MY 8 YEAR RELATIONSHIP PLEASE?) but they don’t bother me as much. Nonetofigo, one day at a time, I’ll get there.
- I feel no panic whatsoever. Complete uncertainty, yes. Extreme excitement, absolutely. But there’s an absence of panic for sure.
I’m ready. Bring on all the changes, let’s see where my next adventure takes me.
Well, it has been one full year since I started this online adventure – I got a little message from my friends at WordPress this morning wishing me a happy anniversary and as always, I am shocked that 365 days have passed already. Apparently time flies, regardless of whether you are having fun or not! The passage of time seems to increase exponentially every year, but I rarely stop to really appreciate it and consider how much can really happen in the time it takes for the Earth to circle the Sun.
I’m not the type of person who pauses to reflect at the start of a new year or when I reach my birthday and turn a year older. If you ask me how my year was in December, I will struggle to remember what even happened in the span of twelve months and usually will only comment on how fast it all goes. (Yes, I have a terrible memory. My best friends will confirm this emphatically!)
When I was a teenager, I always had a journal and would document as much of my life as possible. I was determined to capture the happy times and the miserable times, to make sense of things, and I suppose to be able to give myself a glimpse into that time in my life years down the line. As I got older, I abandoned the activity of writing in a journal – this was probably around the time that I graduated from full-time student to full-time employed “grown up” – and it has been years since I have filled the pages of a notebook with random musings about my life, my dreams, my failings, and everything in between.
This makes my one year anniversary with WordPress feel really special. I set out to take time to focus on the things I love and to write about them, and I did. But something else happened, that I didn’t expect. I inadvertently started another journal, documenting my life over the last year in a new and very different way. Years from now, I won’t have to struggle to remember how I spent the last couple of years of my twenties, because I will have this online adventure to remind me. Sure, it doesn’t cover the mundane day to day and it certainly skates over the terrible days that we all have over the course of a year. But that was a calculated decision on my part – the Internet is already filled with too much negativity, and the goal of this blog was to focus on things that fill me with joy and passion.
So here’s what happened over my last year, courtesy of This is an adventure.*
- 52 posts.
- 898 views of the site.
- 93 people following the blog. (Thank you, Followers! You sure know how to make a girl feel special, even if this isn’t a huge number by the Internet’s standards.)
- 310 tags.
- 1 category. (Oops. Guess I will start adding some categories on here!)
- Most viewed post: Sweet Eats (108 views, yum, I guess we all love brownies.)
- Top 3 most used tags:
*Data from my WordPress.com Stats.
That’s the raw data. Now, a few thoughts from my perspective.
- It isn’t surprising that Food is the most used tag on here. I love eating and I love good food, and I have tried to share that as much as possible on this blog. A Bolognese of My Own is probably my favourite food post, because it is truly my own recipe, made without any need to consult with an ingredient list or directions.
- I feel this strong need and intense desire to do more posts featuring Arts & Crafts. I only completed a few projects over this last year, but they were all so much fun and gave me a boost of creative energy. That can’t be a bad thing. Here’s to more Arts and (Crafty) Organization for the coming year.
- If I had to identify one thing that I am proud of in the last year (apart from actually keeping this blog alive), it would be that I made the garden happen. Maybe it was the very public promise to myself (and the Internet) on this blog that made me accountable after years of claiming I wanted to plant food in the backyard – and if that’s the case, I’m glad I did it. Because, yum.
- The online community is an incredible, at times overwhelming, and unexpectedly welcoming entity. As I have made an effort to engage online more and more in the last year, it has been fascinating to observe how interactions and connections play out in this cyber world where we are all anonymous but equally public individuals. It has been refreshing to participate on the positive side of the Internet, and I’m enjoying learning something new every day. (Forever slow on the technology uptake.)
One year of adventures. One year of writing. One year of creativity and hopefully growth. As I look back through my archives and scan the titles of the 52 posts, I feel satisfied that I have achieved my goal, insofar as writing about things I love. Have I figured out what to do next? Nope. But I’m certain that it will be something great – and somehow connected to writing, food, or arts and crafts. Maybe all three? We’ll have to wait and see. This is an adventure.
The longest days of the year are the very best in my opinion, and I am finally ready to openly admit it: June is absolutely my favourite month. Those that know me might argue that I have a strong bias since I celebrate my birthday, my man’s birthday, and our anniversary in June…but I honestly think I would still pick this month over any other, even if I didn’t have those special occasions packed in. The days are hot (but not too hot), the sun sets later and later as we approach the solstice, there is an explosion of lush greenery that seems to take over, and there’s an electric feeling in the air – Summer. Also: Lilacs.
The sweet irony of June is that the longest days also seem to be the ones that go by the fastest, and the saying really is true: time flies when you’re having fun. Every weekend has been packed with mini road trips to the cottage, tending to the garden, playing ball with the dog, soaking up the sun, and visits with friends. Just as the vegetation around the house comes to life in the latter weeks of Spring, so too do all the people that have been in hibernation all Winter (myself included) and it has been great getting out of the house. Not so great: forgetting all about keeping up with my writing! But rather than getting stressed out about it, I’ve resolved to remind myself that it is June – my favourite month – and I should enjoy these summery days that will be a distant memory sooner than I’d like to admit.
So instead I’m going for the whole thousand words in a picture thing…starting with a few shots from my incredible vegetable garden which has amazingly (and maybe magically) sustained itself for a full month. Nearly everything is thriving, even with the rogue squirrels, now confirmed as the villains digging up my garden – I caught them tearing it up over dinnertime a couple weeks ago!
The lettuce is outrageously abundant and gorgeous – I’ve already harvested a few times and eaten the most delicious simple salads you can imagine. (Well…I won’t leave you guessing: the secret is lemon juice, olive oil, lots of salt & pepper, some grated carrot, and LOTS of fresh herbs.)
The tomato plants are almost as tall as me and I’ve spotted two baby cherry tomatoes already, growing out of the incredible little yellow flowers blooming off of the sturdy stems. (They still smell great by the way.)
And most shocking of all: the zucchini plants are enormous! They are starting to take over the lettuce area, with huge leaves that look like they come from a prehistoric era. As I was picking some lettuce tonight, I noticed that the stems from the zucchini were picking against my arm – they are almost spiky, never knew.
Not doing so well: the cucumber plants, which sort of just checked out a couple days after we planted. There’s one in the very back corner that seems to be holding on, but he’s hiding out behind the zucchini and I suspect that they might try to strangle him overnight.
I suppose time will tell.