This past year, during the week leading into spring, I took a yoga class. During the opening meditation, the teacher emphasized the importance of transitions and the idea of “living in the transition.” Her point was that during class, we often feel a rush to get into a pose rather than enjoying the moments between poses. We don’t really let ourselves feel these moments because they aren’t thought or talked about- they don’t have names, they aren’t decisively one thing or another. They are what you do when you’re trying to get somewhere else. Sometimes you don’t give them any thought because they are just so easy. Sometimes they can be oddly refreshing or sometimes they can be painful or cause some weird sort of twinge in a muscle you didn’t know you had.
I am, quite literally, living in the transition. Yesterday, I moved to New Hampshire. Although I’ve lived away from home for four years, this was much different because I’m (probably, hopefully) never going to live at home again. The days before this move, I was not feeling the whole transition thing. In fact, the first draft of this post sang a much different tune. I was anxious, worried; I didn’t know what to expect. I had a feeling it was going to be one of those transitions that causes a weird twinge. On the car ride up here, anxiety made itself a welcome guest in my passenger seat.
When I got into New Hampshire, I was studying everything, trying to decide if I thought I would like it here, trying to remember where the grocery stores and the post office was. More importantly, trying to find coffee shops (that were not a Dunkin Donuts). We got here and unloaded everything into the apartment and that’s when I learned.
I learned that sometimes, transitions can be better than you ever expected them to be. You learn that maybe the place you came from wasn’t exactly what you needed at the time (sorry, URI) but that maybe this can be a welcome change in your life. Because let me tell you, living on your own is kind of awesome. After my parents left, I went out in search of coffee (in addition to my general need for coffee, I also hadn’t been sleeping out of nervousness). I drove down the road the opposite way I came and I found a whole little downtown area that I had driven through with my friend, Laura, a few months ago and said, “this would be such an awesome place to live!” And guess what? I live here now and actually had no idea that this was where I was coming to (clearly, I don’t know New Hampshire well). What a happy little surprise that was.
That little downtown area held a little market, where I went to get fresh produce. It had a homemade ice cream shop and a yoga studio, both of which I looked at longingly. And it had more than one coffee shops (which is incredible for someone from an area of Connecticut where those are nonexistent). So I went into one with a sign that boasted “Coffee and Books,” which is about all I need and I found what is already my new favorite place. I was so excited, I rambled on to the barista about how great it all was.
The coffee was delightful. I was in my own little coffee shop heaven (my preferred kind of heaven). As I continued to unpack, all I could think about was how this (so far) is not at all the painful transition I was expected. It was, in fact, the kind that was unexpectedly refreshing. I’m sure there will be times along the way where this won’t be quite so easy, quite so gratifying or pleasant. But so far, it feels like a (big) step in the right direction. Last night to celebrate, Laura brought me dinner and wine (are you thinking that I’m lucky to have a friend like that? Cause you would be right). We sat in my new living room and watched a movie and drank too much wine. Cheers to transitions.