Moving Forward in Place

If there’s anything I can be the most sure of, it’d be that I’m a very visual person. A new chapter in my life starts with a new place, a new office, a new classroom. It feels likes a concrete beginning. Like a new hardcover book.

After seven months of chaos and uncertainty, my girlfriend and I are finally moving. I’ve moved many times in my life. I moved between my relatives as a child. I moved to the US to start high school. I moved to Berkeley, and then moved again after the end of freshman dorm. Then Mountain View to start my new job, and two years ago San Mateo to begin a life with my girlfriend.

But this move is different. It’s much anticipated yet opportunistic and unplanned.

The quarantine has forced me in place, ridding of all dynamics in spatial transitions in my everyday routines. It began with a sense of solace—lost time rediscovered. Soon it was dread, filled with anxiety and angst. An undeserving kind of victimization. Guilt, anger, loss of drive. And everything in between.

All hopes were refracted and focused singularly on the most salient. The home I’m so sick of. Like everybody else, I wanted to get out, to move forward, to feel a physical change.

We wavered back and forth between moving and not moving. The risks and benefits evolved constantly. But at last, we found ourselves in a better situation to make that move.

But this move is different. Because I’ve already moved on.

Moving forward without beginning anything concretely new is a foreign concept to me. Seven months ago I couldn’t imagine starting a new job without a new office. Now, without any proper cues to associate the physical with the mental, I had to learn how to move forward in place. To induce change, to digest ideas, to seek inspiration.

I found a more inward-looking process. It’s not quite the same. It’s a lot harder to let things go. But I’ve managed to move forward, to let things go, a little bit at a time.

The new move doesn’t feel significant in the same way that I anticipated seven months ago. It feels cathartic, and reaffirming. It feels less like escaping and more like coming to terms with.

Coming to terms with and accepting the things I learned about myself. It was a like constant, loud swirl of an airplane engine in my head yet so quiet is this tumult. But it’s right there. And I think I found it.

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