Dear Diary: Moving Forward While Remembering the Past
Hello HIH family, Chloe Wilde here.
[WARNING] This is a bit of a cathartic diary-style HIH entry.
About a month ago I said goodbye to the apartment I called home for 5 years and turned the page to a new chapter (a quick 8minute drive away). New neighbourhood, new adorable dogs in the building for me to fuss over in the elevator, and new views of the sun saying hi in the morning and hiding behind the horizon at the end of the day. But the most important element of “new” are the memories being created.
The move was equal parts important for healing from the past and looking ahead at the future, but most importantly about finding ways to be present in the moment and enjoy the now. After the life change that occurred in spring of last year, my home no longer felt like home, instead every time I put the key in, turned the door knob and flicked the light switch, it was like walking into a museum of everything that had happened in the space and I held an all-access pass. Some days the museum would provide waves of joyous memories, others a dark emptiness and reminder of everything that was no longer. Every corner held a memory, every cup, picture frame, couch cushion, reflection in the mirror, even the views from the window reminded me of something. Each of those memories is still with me, and they always will be, but it became hard to live in a space where it felt like I had one foot in the past and one foot desperately trying to find a new normal in the present. And so, I sold all the furniture, made a massive online order from a cab on the way to an airport on IKEA in a haste to fill the space, and when it showed up I spent hours with an allen key, the odd tear streamed down my face and was left with a serious sense of accomplishment when every last piece was put together. But... that feeling of “new home” was short lived. New items could not replace the years that took place and what they represented.
When my boyfriend and I were gallivanting in San Francisco over the summer (a little note here, this was a mere two weeks after buying all new furniture and cursing under my breath at how damn complicated and time consuming building ikea furniture can be) we made the exciting decision to take things up a notch and live together. And so, with the furniture still smelling like the plastic wrap and cardboard from the boxes they were delivered in, I took photos and posted it all online, realizing that the time had come to truly take a step forward in my emotional healing journey and return the all-access pass to the museum I had been consumed with.
I’m happy to say that I am writing this from our kitchen table looking out and seeing the sun dip down and it’s giving off a warm orange glow that has me excited for the days ahead. The museum is still there, and I occasionally visit, but I decide when it’s time to pop-in and look around. Life changes are inevitable, and sometimes they rock you to your core and leave you feeling unsure about absolutely everything. Sometimes it takes partying your worries away with a best friend who knows that’s what you need at the time, sometimes it takes running away from life and packing a bag to Portugal for two weeks of soul searching through yoga and a new environment, sometimes it takes a little magic and meeting someone new, sometimes it takes locking up and walking out of an apartment you lived in for half a decade to finally feel like the earth under you feel steady again, and sometimes it takes a combination of all of that.
Feel the feels. Be kind to yourself in the process. Know that it will get better.