Come Monday, it’ll be all right. Didn’t someone famous sing that? Yeah? I thought so. Well, we’re in countdown mode now. This is our last Monday in PA, if everything goes to plan. And we are irrepressibly excited and happy and possibly just giddy. This may be the best Monday we’ve had.
Murphy is alternately angsty and excited, but mostly eager. There are things he’ll miss (his friends mostly) and things he refers to as part of the “douche sandwich” he hates about living here (like never knowing when everything we own will be damaged by the plumbing poltergeist, or which outlet will explode and allow us to enjoy indoor fireworks). 10.almost75 is an age, my friends. Oh, what an age. I wondered where my sweet baby boy was when he turned 9. Then 10 happened, and I miss 9. And I’m feeling it all, too. He’s vocalizing a lot of what I’ve got going on inside, albeit more colorfully. I keep telling him that I am right there with him about being sad but super-excited and that it’s important that we feel all the feels, but that there have been few things about which I feel totally sure in this life, and this is one of them. And besides, do we even want to contemplate staying in Le Forge, the condo development straight outta Compton, built by drunk elves in the 1980s, with the landlord who hired slim shady Tom Mohr (in this case “more” is way, way less) the lawyer from hell who expects us to keep paying to live with floods, famine, no electric, no heat and now termites? Electrical fires. Plumbing catastrophes. And termites. Termites. We are getting out just in time to avoid the “tenting” for the chemicals.
What happens in this next chapter? No idea. But it’s whatever is supposed to happen. How do I know? God. The Universe. Cthulu. Does it matter? Sometimes you know. You just do. I hope that you have had those moments of absolute certainty that something was pushing you, that something was there, that there is some kind of plan. It all falls into place like there’s a path, and you’re just along for the ride and you stay the hell out of the way of things because it’s easy. It’s why, when facing all manner of hell, I applied for two jobs and didn’t even go for the local one that had my name written all over it where we knew people. It’s why I was zen when everyone (including the Circle of 5) was praying and hoping and texting about whether I had news (like I wasn’t going to tell them immediately). I had this sense that things would unfold in their own time, not mine. I had a sense that it was all going to be okay. I had a feeling that if I just did what I needed and stayed out of my own way, it was going to be all right. But it’s not all right. Not at all. It’s so much more than all right.
Young Murph sat up in bed yesterday morning, and in a panic, realized he hadn’t done anything for me for Mother’s Day. I looked at him and started laughing. And he started laughing. And we laughed until we cried. Because it just does not matter anymore. None of it matters anymore. Literally, nothing matters but getting out of here now. And we know it. And it’s the most surreally fantastic thing we’ve ever felt. Best. Mother’s. Day. Ever.
Can you imagine what that kind of freedom feels like? The “we’re done, it’s over, we’re good, we survived the miserable, hard, and impossible, and we’re going to go live in paradise and do cool stuff” feeling? No more #mainlineproblems and #mainlinemoms and #mainlinelife. No “Hat Day” at the Devon Horse Show and no tailgating at Radnor Hunt. Just living in this zip code is a lot of work. I have worried about all of the things, all of the time for so long that I don’t even know what to do with my mind now that I have nothing to worry about but moving to a place I’ve always wanted to live to do a job I’m super-excited to do.
Oh geez, folks. If I could wish anything for you, I would wish you some of this feeling. This amazeballs feeling of “the other side” of total and utter despair. Of when the worry and stress and constant pressure stop, on a literal dime, and in the space of 5 minutes, you are totally free and filled with happy and anticipation and “OMG, pinch me, it’s really real”. Of what it feels like to be done with all the stuff that has weighted your heart and mind and spirit for so long, you don’t remember what life was like before it. To be, quite literally, heading away from it all to a place that people only talk about. Your “I’m done. I’m quitting life, selling it all and moving to X.”
I am moving to my X. Where I am going to have a great job, and we’re going to do important things.
Not to “sorta better” or “I hope” or “the next rung on the ladder.” To IT. The big, huge IT. The dream job in the dream place. The thing that doesn’t happen to people? Like winning the Lotto? It happened. To me. Just in the nick of time.
It’s not joyful. It’s joy-filled. There’s a huge difference. I used to not realize it. But they’re not synonymous. I mean, you’re joyful when you hear good news, right? When someone gets engaged or married or has a baby or gets a new job or graduates or it’s Christmas? But joy-filled? It’s a whole new level of “I don’t give a fuck” or “don’t worry, be happy.” It defies explanation. It’s amazing and awesome and all about the lightness of being.
When you are walking away from all the crap that you hate, that you can’t control but controls you and doesn’t work for you and heading toward something that’s just…the dream you never even really thought was in the realm of possibility and then comes true. When you are literally dancing to music you have blaring while tossing crap that you cannot remember why you bought in the first place out in the trash. And singing along. And high-fiving. And taking breaks because you cannot stop laughing. And you’re sad, and you take a photo so you can remember, but…not that sad. When you are impossibly, irrepressibly happy and getting happier by the minute, and the old Italian grandmother who helped raised you and died in 1993 is whispering in your ear, “Be careful. Don’t be too happy…” and you’re like, “I can’t freaking help it, Mil. It’s the fucking dream.” Yeah. It’s different. Joy-filled is way different from joyful.
Last night, Murphy was curled up with me on the sofa we haven’t sat on in a month, and we were talking. He admitted he’s a little scared and a little “weirded out” because as we gradually tell people, they are awestruck and jealous and happy. He’s never been there. And so I explained, in my own Murph-mom way, and being Murphy, he made some wise-cracks and wandered off to think.
But this is pretty much what I said…
Kiddo, I don’t want you to grow up afraid of the world. I don’t know where I got that fear, but a lot of my friends got it, too. Maybe it was our parents. Maybe it was the world or the way it’s changed in our lifetimes. But most of us stuck close and chose the familiar and don’t live big lives or have real adventures. We had this illusion that if we did “the right things” (all of which were dictated and designed by other people), we’d have the life we wanted and we’d somehow be safe. So, we did what we were supposed to do. We did what everyone expected us to do. We went to college, we got married, we had careers (or not), we had kids. And it didn’t really go to plan for most of us because life happens to everyone, but we’re all still trying to get it right. Really, though, no one threw caution to the wind and just fucking lived like there was not going to be a next year. We did not act like we had #365DaysToLive, Dan Noah. No, we didn’t. We chose Groundhog Day instead of No Tomorrow.
But I don’t want that life for you unless that is what you want for you. And if you pick that, I’ll be there with you. But I want you to pick what you do. Because I want YOU to feel able to grab every freaking opportunity to do the wildest, most fun, most adventurous things you can possibly do on this earth in this life. I want you to you live every day like it’s your last. I want you to live like there are only #365DaysToLive. I want you to do it all.
And how I can expect you to do that if I don’t, how do I encourage you to live large and fearlessly, if I don’t show you how? I can’t. I can’t help you have the life of all lives if I don’t show you how to sort out what’s important and what’s not and how to go for that freaking brass ring when you see it. I can’t tell you how to have an amazing time. I have to show you how to do it. I have to show you how to toss the debris that’s really just “stuff” we let tie us down and keep us in place and how to go. I have to teach you how to do life in a “go big or go home” kind of way because if I don’t? Then I’m not being the mom you need me to be. So buckle up, buttercup. We’re going for a ride, and you are going to do so many cool things. When you are a grown up man, you will tell your friends about how when you were 10, your mom threw caution to the wind, packed up the pets and changed your life in a radical way.
We’re packing and tossing and hopefully selling this week. It’s a good kind of busy. We’re having a hard time saying goodbye to our friends, even though it’s really more “see you soon.” I almost cried at Wegman’s yesterday. It’s a lot to process.
A friend was here earlier. We stood outside and looked at the condo, and he said, “You’re going to miss this place.”
“Really?” I asked, doubtfully.
“Yeah,” he said. “Probably right up until you make the right turn out of the development.”
And then we laughed and laughed.
This is not a very Monday Monday. It’s actually kinda like a Friday Monday, and I have a feeling we’re going to have a lot of them.
These are all on our Amazon Wish List. What’s on yours?
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If you’d like, you can make a small donation (literally every penny counts and is appreciated) to The Kraken Relocation Fund to help us land in another home and not on someone’s sofa and keep The Kraken going!