Patiently Impatient – Or – Embrace Your Crazy
Moving across the country is a mind fuck. There are a lot of emotions begging for your attention all at the same time. It’s sort of like being the host of a family gathering, the kind where you have to invite the ENTIRE family, not just the ones you enjoy. You’re laughing and getting drunk with your fun cousin Natalie, all while keeping your holier-than-thou Aunt Martha in the corner of your eye so as to avoid her at all costs. But you know you’ll need to have a conversation with her eventually, and the longer you hold her off, the more awkward that conversation ends up being. Basically each family member represents a different emotion, and when you plan to uproot your life and move it to the other side of the country, all the family members come out to play at the same time. It’s entertaining, stress-inducing, thrilling, and terrifying. It’s a mind fuck.
The first weekend I’m in California, I’m driving to San Francisco with a friend to see a concert. When I went online to buy the ticket and saw “San Francisco” in writing, I had one of my many “HOLYFUCKI’MMOVINGTOCALIFORNIA!!!!!!!!” moments. I didn’t sleep too well that night, like a child waiting impatiently for Santa.
Last week, I was driving south on Lake Shore Drive, where I saw my absolute favorite view of the skyline of Chicago. (Chicago does, after all, have the best skyline in the world.) Maybe it was the view, maybe it was the memories the view triggered, or maybe it was the fact that Fight Song by Rachel Platten was playing on the radio, but at that moment, I had one of my many “HOLYFUCKI’MLEAVINGCHICAGO!!!!!!!!” moments.
I get it. I’m an emotional mess. Ask any of my exes, roommates past or present, best friends, or family members. One of my exes, bless him, once said “You’re not too emotional. You just really know how to feel.” It’s exhausting.
So how can an emotional mess of a man like me survive this transition in one piece?
My choir director in high school was a brilliant, eccentric, and talented woman. She’s 4’11’’, and when she walked into the room, she demanded your attention. When she spoke, we listened (as much as squirrely 15-year-old boys knew how to do). In regards to musical phrases, she would say “leave each phrase reluctantly, and enter each new phrase eagerly.” I can’t tell you how many times I have replaced the word “phrase” with “phase.”
Leave reluctantly. Enter eagerly. And do so at the same time.
Our choir director was teaching us young people how to live healthy lives. There is nothing healthier than holding more than one emotion at the same time.
Aside from a year abroad, I have spent my entire life in the Midwest, and so you can imagine the intense emotions I’ve been experiencing lately.
I am leaving Chicago reluctantly.
That being said, I feel this move in my bones. When I visited LA in January, it just felt right. I felt more awake, creative, and determined.
I am moving to Los Angeles eagerly.
In any given day, I experience a wide range of emotions. I’ve always been this way, but my current transition intensifies the way I feel. Fortunately, that’s ok. As I’ve said before…
Good mental health consists of the ability to hold more than one emotion at a time.
I strive to accept emotions and hold them as they come and go. I believe this is the only way to stay present. It’s the most effective way to get as much out of my Chicago experience, while also looking as forward to my big move as possible.
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