Fear is a lot stronger than I ever expected. Fear is what has kept me from writing. Fear has kept me from living. And it is fear that keeps coming back for me. I wrote over a year ago how I have been afraid, but I felt that with a lot less hair, I was able to beat fear. I was wrong.
I'm sitting at my desk with a box of tissues because I'm afraid of being honest. I'm afraid that the guy across the courtyard will seeing me crying as he waters his plants. I'm afraid of going to bed tonight and not saying a word about how much I cried today. I cried today because I'm afraid. I cried and I feel absolutely ridiculous. Because I'm so afraid of staying put.
Life is terrifying when things are going wrong and you're hoping for something to stop you from running. Then finally you stop running. You start to get your feet on the ground for more than a moment. Life is slowing down and you are walking at your own pace, toward the life you hoped for all along. One foot is placed in front of the other; one step at a time. Then before you know it, life allows you to stop. Stop and catch an acceptance letter, a partner who falls in love with you, a scholarship, a job, an apartment, and opportunity. Life is happening and this morning I woke up waiting to pack and run again. I've been waking up, waiting for something to be wrong and some reason to move again.
I've spent all of my, (albeit short) adult life in constant transition. There are moving boxes that I haven't throw away for seven years because they are already labeled for my next move. My boxes are ready for the next place I have to call home. Home sweet home...out of necessity. There are some treasures that I have not unpacked since high school because I didn't have the room, or I couldn't bear glancing at them before putting them back in a box. Now I'm sitting at a desk where my permanent change of address form is sitting next to me. It's there with mail sent to this address, because this is where I live now. This is where I live and I get to stay here more than nine months. I live in an apartment without a set move out date that I know the moment I walk in. I've unpacked...everything. I have taken everything out of tissue paper and there have been lots of broken-down cardboard in the recycling bin out back. I've unpacked, but I've had a feeling that I was holding something and not taking it out of the box. There is something I've kept wrapped up and it is my truth. And truth is...that I don't really know how to unpack.
Some people have wanderlust and there bags are packed because it fuels them. It's not wandering for them, but adventure. I am not that person, but I've grown accustomed to living in temporary spaces that I never truly own. My movements have been decided by a paycheck or a grade report. Along the way, I've met some of my best friends and I never want to change that; they helped me discover adventure every step of the way. But now, I have a new adventure and it requires me to stay put.
I have plants now. Herb plants that sit on the windowsill. I water them everyday. I haven't had plants in years because I knew that I couldn't keep them. I knew that I would be moving before too long. Now I get to have them because I'm not going anywhere. Is this what putting down roots feels like? Plants on a windowsill? It's so simple and so important. I get to see my Dad on Father's Day and I'm going to get to give my Mom her birthday present in person. Because I'm home. I live here. I'm not going anywhere. And that is scarier than I thought.
Transition has been my routine. I would never get too comfortable and never put pictures in frames because they take up too much room in a box. I'm transitioning to a life with stability, a life I've been wanting and I'm scared. Again. I'm afraid to get comfortable. I'm afraid to unpack everything. I'm afraid of throwing away the box for my dishes that sits above the refrigerator because it's the perfect size to fit them all in. It's perfect for a move, but I'm not going anywhere.
I make coffee every morning and pour two cups. I keep the coffee grounds in a mason jar with a 2 tablespoon to scoop into the grinder. I do it the same way every morning. It's a real routine that I don't have to think about changing because I'm staying put. Is that unpacking? I don't know if it is, but for now I'll keep my routine. I'll keep making coffee in the morning. I'll keep unpacking...because I'm finally learning how to settle in. I'm finally home.