April 5, 2011

learning to stay

Wherever you go, 
there you are. 

Tomorrow marks the two year anniversary of my residence at 1451 24th St., a milestone that wouldn't exactly be of earth-shattering significance to most. However, for this former nomad, calling one address home for 24 consecutive months is a pretty big deal considering it's the first time I've done so since I moved out of my childhood home at the age of 18. In fact, prior to my current place, and with the exception of the aforementioned parents' place, my longest stint at one location came in at just under 12 months.

For someone who only moved once as a child -- and just to a new house within the same town -- packing up all my belongings every 10 or 11 months wasn't exactly the most natural instinct. However, the practice became a necessity during my college days and it kind of just stuck with me for the six subsequent years. And, even when my post-AmeriCorps plan brought me to Denver in 2007, I wasn't thoroughly convinced I would be here for more than a few years. But, here I am nearly four years (and 5 addresses) later.

The magnitude of the continuation of my current address lies not as much in the physical aspect  as it does in the mental. There have been a number of instances during my time in Colorado that I have fought the urge to leave -- to run when I had a bad day or yet another guy turned out not to be the one or I missed my family. 
I have found that most of the time the urge to run has little to do with life's circumstances and more with me and my feelings. And, as we are all well aware, moving to a new address or even a new state will not allow us to run from our feelings and ourselves. 

To say my urge to run has dissipated would not be entirely true. There are definitely still moments, days and even weeks when I struggle. But, instead of making a rash, emotionally-charged decision when life doesn't play out exactly as I desired, I sit with my feelings. I allow myself to feel, to process, and I listen. Instead of giving into what at the time may seem like the easy way out, I stayed. Instead of giving up and running somewhere new or to somewhere more familiar, I stayed. And that -- the learning to stay with my thoughts and feelings, no matter how challenging -- has made all the difference.

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