It’s interesting sitting here in a near-empty space and looking at the austere beauty that comes with it. It’s as if it remains a blank canvas, unblemished by the cruft and complexities of modern life that materialism has bestowed upon many of us. Generally-speaking, moving has been a depressing time for me, reminding me of everything that I left behind the first time in California. I left friends, familiarity, and the comforts of knowing that I lived in my hometown and had a place in the universe that was darn near unassailable. Having that ripped out from under me and being transplanted to the other side of the country initially left me cold and unhappy. I knew no one, I felt as if I had been dropped into a bizarre combination resort-and-retirement-village, and I felt about as isolated as any nascent gay youth could possibly feel being the only ‘blue dot’ visible in a fairly deep-red state.
Most of those feelings faded with time as I moved once, twice, even three times within the state of Florida. My soul grew armored, my heart became hard as the coldest frost, and my thinking became rigid and uncompromising (erratic though it may have appeared to others at the time). If I could visit my past self from five years ago, I would give him a giant hug, tell him it’d all work out somehow in the future, and that he’d understand when he got there… but I don’t live in that world, and neither does anyone else.
I can speak from experience on the sadness that used to occupy my thoughts during moving and the subsequent displacement, but that experience no longer rules me. Right now, as I’m writing this I am looking at the empty space in the room and I am realizing that I am not abandoning the space nor am I being abandoned. Instead, I am making room for someone else who will hopefully find a refuge, a fortress, and a place of strength to live their lives from. I think about the new space that I will inhabit with someone I love very much, and I think about all the possibilities that wait in the wings for us to find them and explore them. A space that we can finally settle into, a space that we can explore ourselves and each other within, and a place that we can almost completely call ‘our own’.
The realization that hit me a few nights ago was so overwhelming that I had to stop on the side of the road for a minute to fully-digest it and keep going. I realized that I’m not just moving into “a place” or “an apartment” with someone, I’m moving into a home. Something I thought I had lost forever, that mythical place that once you leave (or are forced to leave), you will never find it again. And yet, there it lies staring me full in the face: I will be going home. Not just to any home, but my home.
The reset button gets pressed every time I move, and each time I’ve improved somehow and done something to improve. Removing things, adding things, changing the way that I interact with things… this time, I will have someone to add to the picture and to help me change and grow. That’s the difference between then and now, and it’s probably the most important change that’s ever happened in my life. Now I have an entirely blank canvas to work with, and someone to work alongside on it.
Every day that you wake up is another chance to do it right.