Moving Pains




I just moved recently to a new neighborhood.  I am very happy about this move and my new town is just wonderful and much more my style than the neighborhood I was in for the last six years.  It is much more social, right near the water and there is the best breakfast spot just a block away.  Even my commute to work is shorter!

For a moment, though, I want to set aside the full-of-happy-change-newness of it all because really, this move beat the crap out of me.  

Moving is cited as one of the most stressful things in life, just under losing a loved one, divorce or illness.  I know nothing of being married and thankfully I am healthy, so I am not one to verify such a study.  My body, however, has conducted its own study through this move and has its own story to tell.

finding the new... hardwood floors!
The decision to leave my past residence was very sudden with the selling of the apartment building to a new owner, who increased my rent considerably just two weeks before my lease was due to expire.  I immediately began looking at apartments in a more affordable neighborhood and was very blessed to find a great spot in just a few days. 

packing the old
Despite this good fortune, I had only two weeks to pack up six years of my life and schlep it to a third floor walk up in a town nearly 20 minutes north.  Knowing the lay of the new space, it was abundantly clear that the majority of my furniture would not work as it is essentially the attic of an old house with low-sloping ceilings.   The bookshelves, bureaus and bed frame would have to go.

On the one hand, this was ok with me… this was a total life change and with it came new furniture for the bedroom and dining/living area (New = IKEA = cheap and heavier than the truck it would arrive in).  On the other hand, this also meant magically getting rid of everything I could NOT bring.
old bed frame is someone else's now

Fortunately, my mom has a big basement.  The few pieces that were from her originally were stored there and I was able to give away the bookshelves, my giant TV and armoire and sell a few other things, including the bed frame.

platform beds are not so fun to make
As anyone who has moved knows, there are at least a dozen moving parts and only the very organized can keep them moving smoothly. 

Seeing as I had like a minute to move my life while still going to my job every day plus the massage gig in the evening, I made a list… a very comprehensive list that included all the services that needed to be cancelled, changed and ordered, the mailing address that had to be changed with the Post Office and every vendor I pay bills to, plus what was NOT coming with me, the measurements of the new space and that of what I was bringing with me… AND the new furniture I had to buy… the mover I had to schedule, the Craig’s List crap I had to photograph, measure and post with a description…

Oh, and I had to magically come up with three grand to pay for first last and security plus buy new furniture. 

I won’t go into the awful battle I had with the new property manager of my old place that elevated my blood pressure to unhealthy levels, but let’s just say it involved him trying to steal from my security deposit and me reporting him to the State (the check has yet to arrive and I sure hope I don’t have to go to battle again).

If this experience is just a level down on the stress-o-meter from the end of a marriage, then divorce is a level of Hell I never want to reach.  I can’t even imagine the death of a spouse... my own mother had to endure that PLUS moving from her beloved home shortly after my father's death just thirteen years ago.  No wonder she has struggled with illness and chronic pain since that time.


...one day
...and a few later
Thankfully, I was not completely alone in this journey.  Although I am a bit independent and really didn't want to bother anyone with something as monotonous as helping me move,  there was nothing more encouraging than  the support I received from a few friends on the official day of the move: 

One unpacked my kitchen and broke down the boxes, made my bed after the IKEA dudes put the frame together and then took me to dinner as my fridge had no food....  Another helped unpack my car that was full of extraneous items from my old place and carry them up three flights of stairs...  I had another friend secure my air conditioner into the living room window on the 95-degree day that all of this was happening… Most importantly was my friend Kelly who, along with helping measure all of the walls and windows and meet me at IKEA to pick out the right furniture the week before, brought over a case of Corona as a house warming gift.

In the end, it took two full long weekends, a moving company and a dozen car-loads of crap to get everything out of my former residence and into the new.

new kitchen soon to be full of boxes
that will be lovingly unpacked for me...

Just writing this is exhausting me and making me want to cry again.  Not because it is sad or scary or terrible.  Only for the simple reason that it threw my nervous system hideously out of whack, making me a high-strung emotional wreck.

My body was in terrible pain.  I was overwhelmed and spent.  There was no room on the floor to lay down my roller to MELT and really, even that sounded like way too much work. 

from one home to another

I finally scheduled a massage at Massage Envy.  It was ok and addressed some of my tension, but that particular therapist didn’t meet all my needs.  The next week I received another one from a very unique therapist named Sabita, who combined deep tissue with lengthening, CranioSacral and Reiki to move the suppressed energy through and out my body.  Tears streamed down my face as she worked and the sense of sorrow became ever present. 

This is where good body work separates itself from a plain old routine massage.  Our tissue has memory and many truths to tell.  This move was the impetus for months worth of bodily truth to come to the surface.  My new home was much more than the physical act of picking up and relocating.  It was letting go of emotional history that occurred at a former zip code.  

former kitchen.. I was kissed here
I don’t miss the old place at all.  It was an ugly building that was not to code by about 30 years.  In spite of that, it still represented various events in my life.  I had three different relationships during that six-year period that I lived there.  Various house guests came to dine or spend the night.  I lived there during my MELT training, massage therapy schooling and the beginning of my CranioSacral study. 

With in those walls I cooked wonderful meals, watched great movies, massaged, MELTed, folded laundry, planned, packed & unpacked trips, wrapped gifts, got drunk, fell in love, made love, suffered heartbreak, dreamt, slept, wept and laughed.

You see, it’s not about the actual walls that makes the home, rather it’s the energy with in them. 

Only two weeks into this dwelling and the energy incubates.  Already stored in my mind are fresh memories of the unpacking of the kitchen, making of the bed, the Corona, the measuring, planning and buying, the endless climbing & descent only to climb again, new meeting of (kinda crazy) neighbors, the IKEA construction, my first shower, first load of laundry and first sleep…  Even now it is held deep in my somatic memory bank. 

For now, I will nest.  Eventually, when I move again, there will be another stressful, emotional reality to face and a body to nurture as it moves on from the energy with in the walls in which it once dwelled.