You practice sitting cross-legged and quiet on the floor at the foot of your bed for twenty minutes, which is obviously too long. You wrap your lower body in a blanket and cup your hands one on top of another in your vacant lap. Still cold from walking the dogs this morning, still eyeing the snow outside your window like what? It’s May. Three days ago you emptied your POD storage unit into your new home for hours, sweating a little in shorts and sandals. Never mind. This is to be expected here, people say. Welcome to Colorado. You are pummeled by fast, hard thoughts—god, teeth, money, sex, nachos—in between attempts to settle back into a bigger, slower belly breath. Remember this? Meditation. You begin to craft bits of this essay in your head, since you probably have 19 minutes left on the timer. Every other line you think essay, who am I kidding? Or I love you no matter what! Or ground your ass down into the earth and go slow.
Never in your life have you been so acutely aware of discomfort. Everything rattles around in your head in terms of familiar/unfamiliar. Which is to say, nothing is familiar right now save for the absolute grasping and reaching in every cell for control. You look at that sentence and feel uncomfortable. You are reminded of how this feels in your body—all four sides of your neck like concrete sinews. Shoulders skimming your ears. You don’t often tell people you’ve had a headache for two decades, because it sounds ridiculous. Untrue. What's more unsettling is not the pain of the headache, but the understanding of why it persists. One is bigger than the other. On the second day of your new life here, you hike Mt. Sanitas with your husband and your dogs and feel enraged. You stop every few minutes and gasp, dump water down your throat. People say, it takes a while to get used to the elevation! Make sure to hydrate! Your husband bounds up the mountain and leaves you behind, muttering I don’t belong here to yourself. You can’t blame him. Where the hell is your sense of adventure now? Your godforsaken sense of humor? You watch your little terrier try his damndest to scamper over the red rocks and get to the top, first. He never will. And he’ll never stop trying. If this doesn’t comfort you, what will? Four days later, after tons of rain (they say, unusual!), you brave the same hike and don’t want to die. You smile more and take your time. Slightly amused this go round by your foolishness, your quick anger and your suffocating discomfort, you chill the fuck out.
You start to put the house together. You understand that a bed, some pictures on the walls, and beloved books neatly pinned against each other on bookcases feels familiar. Street names glom together in your head, your past places—Spotswood, Westover, Belgrave, West Ocean View, and even further back – Station Square, Winchester, 110th Street, out of order and imprecise. You tell your husband this is your favorite of all the places you’ve lived together (this is the third). Yesterday, after a tantrum resulting from money spent on car repairs and utter time wasted worrying yourself to death about jobs and made-up future lives you haven’t lived yet and might not, you squeeze a bag of potato chips until it explodes on the patio. You sit among the crumbs and finish your bagel sandwich until it (what?) subsides. Feels familiar, doesn’t it? You know this is the moment. Not the aha bullshit, but the resting into it. Grounding down. You didn’t pack up and leave your life to grasp for control every minute of the day, your little red heart beating itself into oblivion for protection, fight or flight game on point. Your best ever. No. You didn’t disembark your familiar fences and playing fields just to arrive here (where?) and have it all figured out. Come on, you. What then? You’re done then, that’s what. And you are just beginning, damn that cliché all to hell. You are just beginning and you are doing a fucking great job. It is beautiful here and so are you. So are you.