A Year of Quasi Isolation
It’s very typical of me to start all my writing with a “here we are” paragraph. Here we are in time. Here we are in a place. It’s my habit, my style. I’m attached to providing the reader with an idea of where I am so we can start on a somewhat common understanding.
Today we’re starting at this place:
- It’s been almost a year since I worked in an office.
- It’s been 10 months since I returned to Alabama from Seattle.
- It’s been three months (?) since I ate at a restaurant.
- It’s been two months since Poncho died.
- It’s been one month since I played tennis – and two years since I played on a team.
- It’s been one week since you looked at me, cocked your head to the side and said you’re angry.
I keep reading articles about how the isolation is impacting people. I understand their stories. I am their story. My story of the pandemic includes a loss of income, an increase of 15 pounds, loneliness, fear, desperation, hope, hopelessness. It’s very typical.
Hold up. Let’s stop. Let me be honest. I don’t read the articles. I read the headline and think, “Yep, that rings true.”
Here’s some more truth. I continually restart “projects”. I don’t mean the kind with glue and a purpose. I mean like, “Oh, it’s Monday – and the start of a new month – let’s commit to writing.”
Come Wednesday, I’ve forgotten the grand declaration.
I think what I’m trying to say is that it’s getting really hard to keep motivated at this part.
This is the part in the race, hike, trek, etc. where you’re so far from the start line that you can’t turn back. But the finish line keeps moving farther away. Because the finish line keeps moving, I’ve made a major life decision – to sell my dream house and find somewhere closer to friends.
To say I love this house is an understatement. It’s the most beautiful place I’ve lived. I decorated it meticulously. I picked the neighborhood, the flooring, and the plants I dropped $5,000 into a custom closet.
But now, I can’t afford it. Actually – that’s a lie. I can afford it. But paying the mortgage means no extras.
There’s also the issue of the neighborhood. It hid its secrets well. But during the recent election season they flew their flags (and still do) for a man I perceive as pure evil.
It’s also six miles from the vet, the closest grocery store.
This year of quasi-isolation has taught me the value of relationships. I don’t know where I’ll land. I’m looking at spending some time in North Alabama, where my friendships and networks are the strongest. I’ll hold on buying anything until I’m certain it’s where I’ll live the rest of my life. I’m not interested in starting over from scratch in a new town.
This year has also taught me that I’m adaptable. I will hustle and make it work. But honestly, I’d much rather do it with friends by my side. So that’s why I’m selling – why I’m trading in my custom home for the unknown.
Yes, I can make it on my own. But I don’t want to anymore.