Before Friday, if you had asked me to define the “transition period” in this move to Stockholm, I would have told you it was the 2 months leading up to arriving in Stockholm. I would have shared how long that time felt, how weary I got of the preparations, and how displaced I felt with each task completed and each piece of furniture that left my home. I would have talked to you about the “goodbyes” and how that process felt extended to me…even as it was lovely and necessary.

Then Friday hit me like a ton of bricks.

I was in a meeting when it hit. I was listening to a group of people talk through an issue, when suddenly a surge of melancholy hit me. Initially I thought “Oh wow…this meeting is frustrating me more than it should.” I believed in that moment that what I was feeling was disappointment or annoyance.

That evening I talked through the emotions with my counselor via video conferencing. As we talked, real feelings of anger surged and caught me off guard. As we worked through it I was able to locate that I was carrying the feelings in my jaw, throat, and neck as a strained tightness. It was during this chat…with it’s flood of tears…that the word “transition” raised it’s ugly head.

I’ve started calling this part of the transition “The Wandering.”

The Wandering is the place in this transition where I don’t have a home to call my own, where my most beloved things are in a shipping container, where I’m living in a sparse and utilitarian “apartment”. This is the part of the journey where I have a real sense of aloneness. I have no control over these next steps. I must wait while someone else looks for apartments. I must wait to discover where my new neighborhood will be. I am Wandering…even while starting the job and trying to seem like I’m rooted and settled.

The Wandering triggers all my fears of homelessness and being lost. It leaves me in a state of confusion and makes sleep harder than it should be. The Wandering is my least favorite feeling…I remember it from my move to Denver and I remember the feelings of panic that come unwanted in moments that should be filled with excitement and quiet.

And even with all of that, The Wandering is one of the best teachers. It reminds me of my own limitations. It reminds me to lean into the hard feelings. It reminds me to practice the self-care that is so vital to my physical and emotional health. It is the place of uncertainty that pushes me to ground and connect with those who can provide me with assurance.

So for now, I will grit my teeth, steady my gaze, and stay in The Wandering. But anyone that knows me, knows that I will do so with a little resentment and a strong will to get out of this place as quickly as possible.



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