It’s when you start to dismantle your life that it becomes stripped to the bare bones. Suddenly words such as “house,” “car,” “food” appear in bold at the top of pages like puzzles ready to be solved. I’m famous for buying notebooks whenever I need to get something done. Usually they have inspirational quotes or pictures of places I’d rather be. So basically, super corny motivators that I stuff into boxes or behind shelves when I have company. Now, if I actually completed all of the tasks proposed inside the pages I would have invented Facebook. Cue the eerie but emotionally stirring Trent Reznor score. I’m teasing, but it’s funny how we all find ways to cope with tasks that we would rather not take on. These stark representations on your to-do list demonstrate not only how built up your current life is but how much will change when you have to start again. It’s also slightly disconcerting how easy it is to lose all of the weight, to travel light.
The logistics of it all is not particularly interesting and borders on the dull. You start to sell books, records and any extraranous material that you literally cannot carry anymore. It’s almost symbolic of the baggage you wish to leave behind and you become more careful to not accumulate too much till you’re good and settled, if that even ever happens.
When you begin on a new path you are no longer tethered to commitments and are beholden to fewer individuals. With the shrinking of your network the support obviously decreases but there is also the exhilarating potential for new friends, new schedules, new lives. It’s essential to frame this all as a fresh start because it can be disconcerting to lose those whom you’re most comfortable with. You enjoy their company because the guesswork of trying to connect with someone new does not exist. But it is also a way to be freed of stifling expectations and your life is more on your own terms again. You determine the PR for this round of press because those embarrassing stories do not exist, well not yet anyways.
Major life changes are always the master of taking away those minutes and hours and suddenly it’s time to go. I believe that we are not fearful of the change itself more than the spaces that were once inhabited by those who made you think and laugh. However embarrassing, the word “friends” should definitely be devoted a page of its own next to other tasks to get done. This page can help you determine clubs or other social networks that you’d like to try. You don’t expect it but over time and very organically those gaps fill and you suddenly have a very full life, much like your old one. I promise.