Photo by Lauren Manning via Flickr Creative Commons

Photo by Lauren Manning via Flickr Creative Commons

Since I’m in the situation I’m in, I’m trying to find ways to see it as an opportunity for growth rather than a source of stress.

I hadn’t realized the extent to which I had set up my life to be convenient and accommodate my depression and anxiety triggers until things shifted.

Since I’m self-employed, sometimes I have to go to the credit union several times a week to deposit income. There used to be a branch two blocks down the street. Now I have to make a special trip or remember when I’m already across town.

I used to be within walking distance of one of my jobs. Now I have to drive and remember to leave the house 15 minutes before I need to be at work.

Now if I go grocery shopping I have to carry bags across the complex and up two flights of stairs instead of a few yards from the driveway to the front door, so I can only buy enough to make one trip from the car. I also never realized how much stuff I take out of the house with me on a regular basis and have to lug around.

My plants are on a screened porch instead of in the yard so I have to remember to water them again.

For the first time in three and a half years, I’m living somewhere with stairs. So I have to remember what is upstairs and what is downstairs and act accordingly when getting ready (which isn’t always easy since I’m a morning person).

It takes me twice as long to get to my therapy appointments now, and I was always running late to begin with.

I have spent my time in Austin avoiding the Interstate like the plague, and now I live off the frontage road.

The list goes on.

But I’m trying to be grateful for these few months and let them teach me what I really value so that when we move into a house I will understand what I really need instead of what I think I need. Which of these things can I easily compensate for? Which of the conveniences that I had created for myself are really necessary for my mental health, and which could I do without? Which had become crutches and which are actually viable coping mechanisms?

I’m resistant to change as we all are, but shaking up your routines opens up room for examining them – something we humans often rarely do. I’m paying attention to moments of frustration to see what they can teach me.

What do I really need to make my life livable? Are there other ways to get it than the ones I came up with the first time? How much of my reaction is just a dislike of change itself, versus the creation of a situation I legitimately cannot tolerate long term?

I know that living in an apartment complex makes me feel more isolated and makes it feel harder to get out of the house and be social. Living within short access to some major road will cut down on the mental barriers which make it feel like driving across town to be social isn’t “worth it.” I’ve gotten rid of most of my anxiety around driving, but perhaps this is the chance to get over that last little hurdle.

Growth is hard. Living outside your comfort zone can be painful.

But I’m still working to create the live I want for myself in other areas, and I can put my focus there.

And there are good things. Someone I’ve been wanting to get to know better lives two buildings over, and there’s a way to walk in the neighborhood from the complex so I might have a walking buddy for the next few months.

Being able to drive on the Interstate isn’t all bad, because sometimes it is more convenient than the ways I would choose to go instead.

Having to walk up and down stairs for a bit will also give me the chance to get more exercise and get in the habit of daily activity.

I’m looking at this as a trial run.

What parts of the next few months do I want to keep and which will I let go of? What parts of my old life are worth saving, and which will I forget about in time?

I’m just on an adventure. And not everything about adventuring is pleasant. But at the end of it all, I will have a home, and I will have a better understanding of which parts of a home matter the most.

I think that’s a very good thing.

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