Today, we moved most of our belongings out of the house that we’ve occupied since September of 2015. Since 2008, my family and I have lived in 11 different locations. After next week, I’ll have spent time living in 13 locations.
I’ll be the first to admit that I romanticize nearly everything. I do this because if not, then I feel like I don’t appreciate something. I don’t know if this house meant that much more than our last couple of houses, but this house will forever carry added significance. It was the last house Lyss lived in. It was where I moved after graduating. It’s the house we’ve celebrated at for the last 3 CF walks. The house does mean quite a bit to me and I’m sad to leave it. That’s probably why the last couple of days have been so hard for me.
This is the first major part of moving forward with our lives. I know we need to. I know that I need to stop viewing the past with the bittersweet sheen of nostalgia. Alyssa’s life was full of tough battles and she was miserable a lot of the time.
A difficult part of nostalgia is that you no longer view those moments from the present tense; you view them with the knowledge of what happened. Of course my time in Lexington seems like it was fantastic, I was a college student. In reality, I was stressed constantly with school, missing my family all the time, unsure of my future.
That’s what I’m feeling now. I’m sad that I’m leaving the house that ended up being my sister’s last. This house will forever be that for me and that will always be hard. But it also means I’ll be starting fresh elsewhere. This is hard for my parents and me for different reasons, but it’s a step we need to take.
I recently learned a piece of advice that has fundamentally changed how I make decisions. Instead of spending an inordinate amount of time deliberating on a decision, weigh the pros and cons relatively quickly and make a decision. Afterwards, instead of obsessing over if it was the “right” decision, commit to ensuring that it was the right decision by taking control.
To give an example: I’m anxious about moving somewhere new, but instead of obsessing over how I would’ve rather spent time at this house all summer, I’m committed to using this discomfort to work on a lot of these ideas I’ve had brewing for a lot of time. That’ll ensure that moving into a new place will make me better in ways I’ve wanted to work on for some time, in ways that Lyss would’ve been proud and even encouraged me to work on.
I think being romantic about the past is okay, because it allows you to reflect on how you became who you are. But I think always pretending that the past was the golden years prevents yourself from enjoying the moments as they come.
Not to be redundant, but I’ve had a really tough couple of days. When I started this project, I didn’t expect there to be so many sad pieces. But I’ve willingly accepted that being open and public about my grief may be able to help others. It’s so cathartic for me too. It also means that my writings reflect how I’m feeling on a day-to-day basis. So today’s piece contrasts with yesterday’s quite a bit.
Here’s to the future. Maybe I can channel Lyss’s strength to find that hope.