Change is Hard

I have been feeling guilty about not writing a Year in Review post for 2017, because I like the idea of this blog being my memory-keeper of life and feel that I’ve somehow short-changed myself by not following through. However, here we are in February, and I’m feeling compelled to write about the unfolding of what was one of the most significant events of 2017, which is my concrete decision to move to British Columbia in 2018.

A few weeks ago, on a bus ride into the city to meet a friend for dinner, I spontaneously decided to reach out to realtors to start gathering information about selling my home this Spring. Suddenly, here I am at the beginning of February with my house completely in disarray being readied for listing in the next couple of weeks, and a photo on my phone, sent to me by my friend, of my house in the local paper being advertised as “Coming Soon!”

It’s all happening so fast. I’m freaking out.

The other major event of 2017 is that I decided to apply to graduate school in the hopes of getting my Masters Degree and ultimate PhD in social psychology research. I busted my ass to study for the GRE which I wrote in November, I further busted my ass to get applications written and submitted by December 1, and now there is nothing left to do with that but wait until I hear back from schools in March.

That means that right now I’m listing my house for sale, before I actually know if I’m moving to BC to go to school, or if I’m moving to BC to semi-retire in a small town by the ocean. I don’t know when to quit my job, I don’t know when I’ll be leaving for BC or where I’ll be living or even whether I’m moving to a house or a student basement apartment. I have no idea what lays ahead of me and yet every day right now, in this life in Ontario, I am being propelled to let go of everything that has provided me comfort, security, and stability over the last 16 years.

Everything familiar is changing.

My house is now an attractive and perfectly average shade of taupe-grey. The beautiful French doors that were a deep shade of wood stain are now painted a perfectly acceptable white. And the floor-to-ceiling wood bookcases that are full of character, originally installed by my father and later stained dark walnut by me, are now taken down and waiting for LetGo pickup because without them the space looks just a little bit larger which is more marketable. Suddenly everyone feels entitled to share their opinion about every little thing in my house. As I was told by a realtor, “your house isn’t your home anymore, now it’s a product to be sold.”

I’m so sad.

Without having a clear vision of what to look forward to – student life in psychology research, or semi-retirement by the ocean – I don’t know what to hang on to as I let go of my current life. I am quickly becoming displaced in my own life, and it’s all been of my own choosing, but it’s happening so quickly that I’m often gasping for air, scrambling to feel ground beneath my feet.

It’s a pithy saying, but these days I feel it in every atom of my body. I feel it every time I wake in a panic at 2am desperately thinking I need to cancel all of these plans and get comfortable with feeling settled in Ontario. I feel it everytime I’m on the cusp of some great unforgettable adventure that terrifies me to my core (like this one): change is hard. Change is so hard, and I desperately don’t like it, but I’ve also come to realize I can’t live without it.