12 May 2008

Life and Art and Moving

My computer died, but we'll get to that in a minute. Let's begin with the fact that I'm moving cross-country on just over 30 days notice.

This is both a sudden and inevitable move on my part for which I'm grateful. Our apartment building was foreclosed on and the vultures began circling last year. By the time a rep from the bank came by to speak to the tenants everyone had that sinking feeling. Months had passed since the initial change over and silence is not the strategy of one trying to hold onto to residents. Despite this we were cautiously hopeful when the rep took information and spoke about a lease being brought over in a few weeks. Months later it was clear that wasn't going to happen as whispers of condo conversion began. Still we'd been assured that if the building was sold again, we'd be given 60 to 90 day notice and there would be plenty of time to move and do it right. How fortunate I'm not a trusting person.

My Sweetie and I began saving the moment the rep came to our door and confirmed the foreclosure. Sure enough, two weeks ago we came home to a 30 day "notice to vacate" on our door. The vultures had managed to sell our lot for condos. We didn't even blink. In a beautiful bit of serendipity we'd come to the decision an hour earlier to move to New Mexico if we loved it during our July visit. We've wanted to get out of Wisconsin for years and New Mexico is one of four places I've wanted to explore long term. Add to that eager and insistant friends, and money to make the move, and it all just seemed like the right timing. When we came home and found the notice, it was obvious that the timing was even earlier than we thought. July schmuly, we're going now!

Since neither of us drive, an adventurous road trip was out of the question.We looked into shipping our stuff--laughed when we saw the price--and decided to mail what we're keeping and shed the rest. Our entire life reduced to twenty boxes and two carry-on bags and not a natural disaster in sight. Talk about blessed and frightened all in one. Choosing to let go and leave behind the clutter has been deeply emotional and profoundly liberating. Box after box and item after item slips away and a sense of self opens up as the space around me does the same.

As Zen and spiritual as I am, it was my writer's eye that took it all in and identified my perfect chick-lit moments unfolding before me. The quarter-lifer making a move that in the end profoundly changes her entire being, (only with fewer werewolves and vampires than if I was actually writing it.). But as we all know, chick-lit, even the paranormal kind, is as much tragedy as comedy. Fortunately it tends to be comedic tragedy in the end.

Being the industrious one that I am, when I jumped into this I did it full force and with plans upon plans and research for days. They have a saying about the best laid plans. We packed up the boxes and got the first batch to the post office. Turned out all my research was for naught as we couldn't send the book heavy boxes via media mail. Again, I'm industrious and fed two birds with one handful of seeds by using clothing as packing material to protect the books and cds. And you just can't do that.

Would have been nice to have that prominent on the website, perhaps in large, block, neon letters. Would have also been nice to know they had discontinued the complimentary plain address labels and no longer carried the twenty pack for sale. However none of that would have mattered if I'd known my computer was going to die just as I was about to print out address labels for the boxes. Yeah, a lot it would have been nice to know 48 hrs earlier rather than to learn it all in a 20 minute span.

Standing in the post office after the computer died, writing out mailing labels on lined notebook paper, having just learned my careful budget was shot to hell, I realized it was the part in the movie where it seems our plucky heroine has made a drastic mistake. It helped me to remember that it also meant things would turn out wonderful beyond the plucky heroine's wildest dreams. It cheered me up immensely!

Sometimes we're reluctant to put our main characters through their paces when dealing with our created worlds, but the truth is that life is like that. It's a series of highs and elation and then moments of one thing after another trying to drag us down, with only our inner strength to rely on.

So go ahead and find the comedy and tragedy in the every day moments and let your characters do the same. Live your inspiration and in the midst of the worst remember there's always another act coming after the next commercial break. And in the end we can all have a bit of our HEA.

Ramble Done

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