Dear MOB Readers:
As you read this, I am (hopefully) en route to our new digs in Massachusetts. Anyone who has moved knows that the whole process can get a little..err..tense. There may have even been moments, like when I was scrubbing finger paint off the bathroom wall minutes before a house showing, when I asked myself: “Why the Hell are we doing this again?” This post answers that question.
I peered over the bridge to see Phil treading water below; a squinty smile on his face. I stalled: “I will….I just need…a minute….”
“A minute to do what? Just do it!”
The mid-day Jamaica sun beat down on my shoulders; drops of sweat trickled down the back of my legs. Maybe if I stand here long enough, I rationalized, the fear of frying like a piece of bacon would trump the fear of jumping from 30 feet into the water.
Ok. Deep breath. On three. 1…2…3….STOP! The feeling of my stomach dropping like an elevator that accompanied the count of “3” stopped me in my tracks, my toes digging into the wooden bridge overlooking the clear blue Caribbean.
So what if I don’t jump? I came here to relax! Phil and I had snuck away for a kidless mini-vacation to the vibrant, rustic paradise of The Rockhouse Hotel in Negril. The purpose of our retreat: Escape the chaos of selling our house and impending move to Massachusetts.
Both the trip to Jamaica and the move were supposed to have happened over a year ago, but things do not always go as planned. I was diagnosed with a congenital nerve defect that required the surgical removal of my entire colon. Suddenly everything had changed. We put any career or geographical moves on hold. Our focus shifted from moving to healing.
My recovery was a long one, requiring patience, attention, and support from friends and family. But as my strength returned and life regained some sense of normalcy, we once again felt pulled to create something new. One year post-surgery, Phil took a new position in Boston, and our house went on the market.
Things do not always fall neatly into place. Five months later, the For Sale sign remains. On our last night in Negril, amidst hanging lanterns and the sound of steel drums, we realized that the longer we wait to move, the more we invite fear to creep in. Over some Red Stripes and jerk chicken, we decided to rent in Massachusetts until our house sells.
Now there is nothing left to do but go.
It’s not exactly the way I envisioned it: a tiny, wood paneled rental cottage on the South Shore with no dishwasher or cable. But adventure and safety cannot occupy the same space. Waiting has its place – until it takes the place of living.
There is a time for planning and assessment.
Then you just need to jump.
Standing on the bridge, I realized that fear was running the show. Every time I screeched to a halt on the count of “1-2-3 JUMP,” I slammed up against an invisible wall of fear. I was repeating the same pattern over and over: stomach drops, mind judges, fear wins. Hitting the wall was feeding the beast.
So I decided to beat fear at it’s own game. No more counting. No more prepping.
I backed up, ran, and jumped.