This past week was full of more firsts. Two firsts of a similar nature, and triggering the same emotions.
I travelled from my unit for the first time, from NYC.
One trip all alone for work, and the second to take advantage of one of the motivators for moving here in the first place- visiting my amazing extended family in Philly, and for this first trip there, I had the little girl in tow.
Both trips were good for very different reasons, but both stirred a weird and unexpected anxiety…
The work trip triggered a sense of anxiety from a very practical sense… Leaving my unit in this city for the first time. We’ve functioned (or ‘dysfunctioned’, depending on the perspective) in an extremely tight unit for 2 months. Bobbing and weaving, dropping off and picking up, flexing and strengthening… All as a core of four for 2 months.
There was no worry from a logistical or safety perspective. It was just a disruption to that new sense of safety, of familiarity, of known… And a place where much else was the opposite.
Arriving back at the apartment at 2 am 2 short days later provided me with a sense of comfort that I was entirely unprepared for. I’d been gone for such a short period of time. But the depth of feeling that I realized that dark and previously lonely night, surprised me…I was coming ‘home’.
The weekend trip came upon me without anxiety.
I was so looking forward to seeing these familiar and welcoming faces. And the time was perfect. Relaxed, comfortable, happy, and easy.
And ironically, it was all of those entirely good feelings that brought a sneak of anxiety. You can’t win…!
It’s a theme…. the balance between shaking things up, being intentionally uncomfortable, feeling unprepared…. And establishing and realishing in a routine, of feeling ease, of unplugging from thinking…getting too comfortable, can, ironically, make you uncomfortable…
This weekend was easy. And exactly what I wanted.
But it was an important step in the direction if a new ‘normal.’
And because I haven’t been able to imagine what ‘normal’ looks like here yet, it caught me off-guard. We’ve been operating in a bit of a ‘vacation-mode’, where nothing feels permanent, and everything brings with it adventure, good and bad, just like a holiday. We’ve been the ‘new guys’ where there’s a tolerance for effing up, or not knowing what’s where, or not really planting anything.
And this weekend was the first step away from that.
And it’s awesome.
But it’s a shift…
I’m grabbing a coffee after I get off the train that I ride every day this morning. A new, and also awesome, routine.
Here’s a picture from the weekend that sums up why I’m looking forward to some semblance of comfort on the east coast. Wacky and living Philly family. Building a scarecrow we named Tim.