There is joy unfolding: a feeling that is managing to return to again and again, not just fleetingly. Moving Day is one week from Saturday, and I’m getting to the point of stripping my apartment down to its bare essentials. It is beginning to smell more like it did when it was uninhabited—like clean carpet and curtain fabric, or something. My new apartment smells of fresh paint and polished hardwood floors. It is so clean, even the bottom of the bathtub has been waxed. I don’t know if that’s normal, but I know it’ll inspire me to be extra-careful the first time I use the shower.

I’m celebrating the opportunity to create a new home. My excitement comes partly from the prospect of being kept busy by a hundred little projects over the next weeks and months. When I asked my mom if moving was just an oversized reaction to heartbreak, she said, “Yeah, maybe it is. But so what? It sounds like a good decision.” Somebody else pointed out that since my emotions tend to be very big, it makes sense that I try to deal with them in big ways. So this is one of my big things. It is not my only distraction, or the sole outlet for my energy, but it helps.

In the middle of this I am also celebrating myself, for being open to the beautiful possibilities that lie on the other side of pain. There truly is a lot to be learned from this experience, and I would be ashamed of myself if I refused the lessons. I’m not in the frame of mind to write about it now, but things are shifting.

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