At the end of my life in my childhood home, the lock to my bedroom door stopped working. It gave the illusion of working, at times, but always someone could burst in at any minute, when I least expected it. It had worked for so many years, and really many times I’m glad about that, but for a brief time, it failed me. I didn’t have a lot to hide at that point in my life nor did I have people in my life who would burst into my room unannounced. It was the idea of the broken lock that haunted me.
Sometimes it still haunts me today. It’s like when you’re trying to run in a dream but you can’t run. I would try to lock my door and people would still burst in.
The night before the night before we moved (Moving Eve Eve?), I had anxious dreams all night. I realized that the broken lock dream was somewhat of an occurrence throughout my years. I dreamed my new house had a broken lock and that people kept bursting into my house at all times. I think this was about losing my space, my place, my control. In later dreams that night, I dreamed my engagement ring broke and I was trying to crazy glue the diamond back onto the band, except it kept growing and morphing and falling out of my pocket. I could never put it back together. Loss. Control. Loss of control.
I started to think I was a bit of a commitment-phobe, although not in any obvious ways. Maybe not a commitment-phobe, but maybe I just have a hearty fear of commitment. Not a phobia. A fear. I remember the night before my wedding, feeling very similarly to how I did the night before the night we moved. It wasn’t about questioning my husband. It was about questioning the wedding and marriage and how it compared to my silly, childhood fantasies about that day. I guess I thought it would be more Disney-fied. I mean, I had the Disney princess hair and we had the horse and carriage and the color and fanfare, and hell, I had the prince. But did Disney princesses suffer crippling nausea the nights before their weddings? I think not! I was nervous, to put it very lightly. I was scared out of my mind. It was all good, though. Loss of unmarried life + married life = new life. I thought about that a lot on the eve eve of moving day. Loss of home + new home = new life.
When you’re a little kid, or at least when I was a little kid, I used to dream about my future home. I never skimped on dreams, you see. I was going to marry a prince. I was going to be a movie star/singer/songwriter/astronaut/writer/filmmaker/dancer/pianist/female MLB player. That’s how you dream when you’re a kid, huh? Some enterprising adults still do dream that way. My future home was going to be modest but luxurious. Canopy king-sized bed, jacuzzi bath looking out over the mountains, open air hot tub, Adirondack rocking chairs, decks, wraparound porch, porch swing, walk-in closet with shoe section, and so on and so on. I had it all figured out.
Except that I hadn’t, of course.
The night before we moved to our new house, I was finally excited. I wasn’t nervous or petrified anymore. I applauded the childhood dreams we carried out – some type of fireplace, large yard, chalet ski lodge style, deck, and I did not mourn the childhood dreams that are still too lavish for our budgets – hot tubs, jacuzzis, swimming pools, canopy king-sized beds. Maybe someday. It’s good to always have things to dream about. I was excited. My mind was at least temporarily in the right place. I had completed my personal Tamara-branded Five Stages of Change. Whether it’s a relationship ending, the death of a loved one, moving to a new house, I always seem to follow these stages in order:
1. Panic – This is unfortunately usually the first reaction to change or loss. I’ve been lucky not to experience it all that often in life. It just means a big change. I could go my whole life without big change and the anxiety, chills, and exhaustion I temporarily get, but I guess that would mean I wasn’t living much. At least that’s what I tell myself.
2. Numbness – After Panic and before the real action, I start to feel good again after panic. Only, it’s usually too early to feel good since I haven’t yet carried out or coped with what I have to carry out or cope with. I call it a fake good feeling. Maybe it’s denial. It is a nice reprieve from panic often.
3. Inevitability – This is when something is really happening and I’m past the panic point and close enough to no longer feel numbness. This is usually when I get my best work done. If it’s moving, I make plans to move on and move in. If it’s a wedding, I get extreme on the details. If it’s loss, I’m coping with it fully whether it’s through writing, talking, exercise, photography. This is a time of great action and a few sleepless nights.
4. Sadness – This is when I finally feel the sadness I’m waiting to feel. Even when it’s a good change, it’s still a change. It’s still a goodbye, whether to a way of life or a home. I will usually finally cry during this stage. Most likely in the shower or on the phone to my mom.
5. Adaptation – This is quite simply when I adapt. It’s my eventual embrace. My adoption of my new life with or without someone or something. It’s often shaky at first and then just flows the way it’s supposed to flow.
These are five neat little stages, but of course, there are relapses at times. I don’t know where I am right now, emotionally, but I’m sure I will figure it out and write about it here.
What will happen? Who knows?! Will it be sad? Will it be beautiful? Probably both. I guess it’s time for adjustment and more adjustment. And so on.