So many changes — turning stuck into movement

I like change. I like movement. I love a big move, the bigger the better; the further the better. 2021 was all about change and movement and now I’m trying to figure out how to make 2022 about enjoying that change.

My dad died in 2021 — he was 95, and lived a good long life — but his death set in motion such huge changes that even though I saw them coming, I wasn’t prepared. His death changed where I lived, how I lived, my covid social circle, my family structure, everything.

I’ve only known one childhood home my entire life. I didn’t realize just how much that old brick row house had a hold of me until I had to leave it for the last time. I really thought I was ready. When my mom died almost seven years earlier grief consumed me — but dad was still there so life, bills, the house, everything just went on.

When dad died, every single thing in my life changed. I was so caught up in movement, in pushing forward I didn’t stop to think about what life would be like when I stopped moving. Shutting down a life, a childhood home, felt endless. We gave away everything, trolled through more files than anyone should be allowed to store, through decades of old running magazines and healthcare journals, through hundreds of loose photos crammed in boxes, tons of rusty tools, and stacks of poorly rinsed out used plastic cups. We just kept moving forward at a frenetic pace. We sold the house, packed, bought a house online across the country, drove to California, and spent four months fixing, toiling, scrubbing, sanding, and painting our new home. I love where we are, I love feeling the ocean breeze, seeing the sun shine and the palm trees wave. But now I’m just ‘being’ — and that feels frankly, a bit unsettling.

January first is around the corner and I’m determined to make the most of the year ahead. I’m proud of how far we’ve come in such a short time. I wanted change and I worked night and day to make it happen. All the ups and downs, all the tears, all the exhausted 2 am giggle fits, they all paid off. I can so clearly see my dad, he’d raise his right index finger and say, “Ah, resilience” — in the past I would have rolled my eyes but now I get a bit misty thinking about everything that’s changed. I will always miss what was but I know I’ll find a way to keep moving forward.

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A midwesterner’s take on life on the west coast.

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Amy Squires

Amy Squires

A midwesterner’s take on life on the west coast.

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