I felt no emotion about leaving Denver and Colorado until I drove away on Jan 31, 2017. There was no space for it, for one thing. For about 5 days before I left it was full-time, all day working to get rid of and organize everything that was left. Like: the last remaining items we would take with us, the items that would be stored at Brian’s (Jeff’s brother in Castle Rock), the items going in my car to be stored at my parent’s, the items going to Goodwill/dump/recycling. Felt like a 5-day quick-paced marathon. AND. I tend to be done with a place when I’m leaving it. I was ready to leave Denver and Colorado and I didn’t have doubts about this.
I left our Balsam St house at about 11:30am. It was very hard to say goodbye to Jeff and Kitty (if you’re wondering if she has a given name, she does, its Emerald). We were about to be a part for longer than we had ever been since knowing each other. So it hit me when I was driving past downtown on I-25. A big swell of emotion and some tears (like, 3, just kidding). I thought to myself, ‘Wow. I’ve live a lot of life here. I’ve lived in several different places. I went to graduate school here, started and defined my career here. Made many life-long friends here’. So I gave Denver its due and sat quietly for about 30 mins just letting that soak in but not being bogged down in it. And then I enjoyed the solitude and the drive. I listened to Amy Schumer’s book, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo. I thought she did a great job on that. And I took in the rolling plains and wind turbines of Kansas. It was peaceful. I also could feel about a million miles of space extend out in front of me in all directions. This is what I’ve been waiting for. I was getting just a taste of the new life I had spent a year preparing for.
The drive was easy, as I intended, driving only 5 hours to Hays, KS. I stayed at my first Airbnb. I thought I’d be staying in someone’s home with them which I preferred because a) probably nicer and more cozy than a shitty hotel and b) feel safer. But I get there and its someones home that is just for Airbnb that they don’t live at! I was really glad no strange dudes decided to also stay the night! Luckily (?), I had the house to myself. My 20 year old self looked at my 35 year old self and was very impressed that I could relax and then fall asleep under these circumstances.
The next day, Feb 1, I would be driving another 5 hours to Lizzie and Aaron’s (brother and sister-in-law) in Edmond, OK. I would be doing another on-the-road-phone session today. My first was yesterday. I was very nervous. What if someone came and knocked on my window?? What if I lost service?? Well, don’t worry. Both those things happened. I had my first session whilst 1 hour outside of Hays. I pulled over on a country road. Service not great. I’m already on the phone and driving further down the road and park again. Almost immediately the local sheriff pulls up behind me. I’m going to have a panic attack. I safeguard my sessions to a fault. I hate any kind of noise or disruption. So I ask my client to hold on cause there’s a policeman at my door. “Hello officer, I just pulled over to talk on the phone. Is that okay?” Officer: “Oh sure, I was just checking to make sure everything is okay”. So there went that. And my client could care less. That’s often their response to something I have obsessed over for weeks, “um, yeah, can we get back to what I was talking about? or Yeah, I got it, its fine”
I rolled into Edmond, OK about 4:00pm. I was greeted by my mom, Baby Jack, Lizzie and Aaron. Awesome. My mom had come up from Muskogee to stay for two nights. This is what I was wanting. The luxury of time and space. Time to spend with my family in an unhurried non-holiday time. Not that I’m against being with my family during holidays but it is a different experience for sure. I had contacted my Uncle Kevin in December about him and his family coming to Edmond for a dinner with all of us. He, of course, said yes and we had sushi on Saturday but not before this happened.
I love the Kevin Shimaneks. Kevin is the youngest brother of my mom. After that social event it was just me, Aaron, Lizzie, and Jack. Bliss. Nothing to do except an occasional session with a client and a daily trip to Natural Grocers because I can. Because I ate those cookies and I need them again, and I forgot I need a lemon. My new motto is: All I got is time… I think mostly that’s said sarcastically but not by me. I loooooooove having time. Love it. And I can just wallow in it, no problem. This is part of what I worked for and arranged for: Time. Freedom. That’s my other motto: Freedom or Death. And those of you who know me know I mean the death part. Not in the ‘I want to kill myself’ kind of way but in that I tend to be a little intense about the things I believe. Until I don’t believe it anymore (Ha!). But I think freedom is a lifetime value, lifetime motto. I value it above security. Above money.
I’ve realized something about myself recently. I fit more with the creative types. Like an artist. I’m very unconventional. I don’t like the conventional work schedule, I don’t want to work under anyone, I drive myself, I’m pretty emotional, ambitious, intuitive, creative. This was prompted by researching career aptitude tests for a client. I found, in this test which was thorough, that my current profession is not a perfect fit. It made sense. I believe I am very skilled at what I do and I love most of it. But there are parts I know aren’t a perfect fit. It highlighted my artistic sensibilities in a way I had never seen myself. And I thought, ‘Oh my god, I would fit perfectly into a liberal arts school! I’m such weirdo-hippie-artistic-liberal-type! But these were not things I could have accepted about myself while I was in school. Oh how I wish I could be this me while I was in college and then grad school. It just got me thinking, ‘Is there something out there that is an even better fit?’ And how exciting! A few suggestions that came up: author (love), scuba diver (interesting), physical therapist and several variations of counselor/therapist.
Back to Edmond. I wanted to have quality time with Baby Jack.
He took his time getting to know me, as he should. But then he started to chill with me, just be with me. That was something special. And then, he fell asleep with me! This is a special honor, in the world of Jack. (My heart squeezes a little to think about him now and I want to smell his head, really bad.) I wanted quality time with Lizzie and Aaron, too. Wherever I was going to be I wanted it to feel quality, and easy, and spacious. And this was happening. I was in the middle of living my dream. Which sounds silly as I write it. But that’s what I kept thinking: ‘this is happening now, Emily. You planned and you dreamed and now its here’. Mostly I was prepared for how much space I felt. And other times it would shock me. I’d look around and notice I had no reference. Nothing was familiar, nothing was mine. I realized when I have something that is disorienting for me, like a conflict with a loved one, I look for familiar things (even just something I can look at with my eyes, the view from a window, etc) I look for something to help stabilize me. But when I first got to Lizzie and Aaron’s it was all new. And my body and mind were keenly aware that what was in front of me was all I had. There was no house, no Denver to go back to. There was not a home base. Its hard to describe, and it was unexpected. I guess, other people have probably described this. Something like, you have to find the home inside yourself. Which I had seen in writings by the gurus of the world and Yogananda. Make the peace inside yourself and then its always with you. You know, some bullshit like that. I think I always found this slightly threatening because it indirectly was insulting me and the things I liked having around me or things I wanted. That’s what’s funny about this big purge of things. I didn’t set out to do this. This is not what I would have planned for myself. But it ended up being exactly what I wanted. Which is a nice little slight of hand trick by God.’Listen, we know Emily can be really pig-headed, we gotta make this seem like her idea. And we gotta just slide her into it almost without her knowing it’. Worked.
Last really important note. I changed my hair. Here’s a little hair evolution timeline for you.
Hohum. Blond is more fun.
Muskogee! And Arizona!!