I was becoming exhausted just being in my own body. Another suffering cause was the fact that I hadn’t been giving attention to my hobbies due to the change in my life. Moving here had turned my world upside down. I started to feel suffocated in my own house, trapped by my chores, agonizing over the memories I missed so much from back home. It was tearing me apart. I looked at myself like a quitter. Giving up on my routine and my hobbies of gardening, belly dancing, kundalini yoga sessions, dog parks, making a big breakfast every morning, going to crystal shops, hiking, going to church, etc. I had stopped doing it because I didn’t know where any such places were. I was accepting the fact that the Towne Park a mile away was enough to suffice, because the few dog parks Danny and I did check out, the dogs were all aggressive. Giving up on hiking, realizing that this isn’t Utah, this is the woods. Giving up on gardening because I no longer had a yard to do it in and overestimated the cost for indoor plants. Giving up on yoga because the classes here were just so expensive. I had succumbed to my own mental prison and wide range of excuses. Work and dog walks is all I will be doing here, I thought, trying to hold back my tears. I just kept breathing and praying for something to change. Please, anything to get me back to a state of well-being, I begged. When you stop doing what you love, you stop being the person you are and you allow yourself to lose your spirit, it not only affects yourself, but everyone around you. I started feeling sad, depressed, and irritable, out of the unhappiness I had felt within myself.
On a day like many others, I was cleaning our house and sleeping the floors and organizing the DVDs on the shelf and that’s when I saw it: The yoga DVD I had bought at a pawn shop last Autumn! I stared in disbelief as tears of relief swelled up in my eyes. It was when I stopped looking so hard and so desperately, that it came to me at the right time. The next day, I met a neighbor who lives 1,000 feet away from me. Cristyn’s dog is the same breed as Zai and six months older. They run, they play, and I had found comfort in someone with a very similar lifestyle to my own. A holistic yoga instructor with a Masters in Sports Psyche raised by a homeopathic, animal loving massage therapist. My soul was fed. The bond was cemented and a friendship was born.
One week after that, I go across the street to get Danny some slices of pizza to have ready for his return after a 12 hour day of work. The same manager who was working is the same fellow with whom Danny and I are acquainted with there. Making small talk with Kade, I tell him about the beach in Stamford and he recommends a secluded and quiet beach in Norwalk for me to try. I say, it’s expensive, but I’m sure one day on a special occasion, it will be perfect. He knows Zai, and throws in a few other recommendations. Stone Hill Road, off route 137 and 124 has a dog park that is a wooded trail. It’s quiet and in nature. There are creeks and it’s off leash, he says. And as an added bonus, tells me about Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, not even 10 minutes from my house! It’s a 5,000 acre piece of land where people take their dogs, horses, and go just to enjoy nature. Sometimes there are workout classes there or meditation classes. You can even go camping! Lakes and ponds everywhere. Lots and lots of hiking too. Maybe not like in Utah, but you can certainly venture there, he adds.
My salvation was returning and my depression was diminishing.
I have accepted the fact, that I may not find a belly dancing class here for a while, but why should that stop me from belly dancing in the comfort of my own home? The same day I went to the Stone Hill Road dog park is the same day I stopped at the library and got a library card. One week ago, Danny bought me house plant. I am not just gardening again, but building upon my happiness that is growing and connecting to Earthly life inside the comfort of a home that has no outside options.
I have met four neighborhood dogs, with amazing owners who I now walk with everyday and our dogs play together. Amazing women of all ages.
My spirits are up and my mood swings are down. My happiness is much and my depression, very little. I have a hunger to do things now. I clung to Danny when I had nothing of my own and it had put a strain and pressure on our relationship that neither of us could escape. I was dependent on him to give me what my hobbies had given me. I didn’t know who was happier when these past few weeks have filled my life with my answered prayers! The strain has been lifted. Being with each other is a choice everyday that we make and it’s enjoyable to make it now. I no longer feel guilty for clinging to him for comfort and a way to be alive. He’s happy for me that I have regained my own life I once had. The life that he loved seeing me have, a free woman who flies by what drives her and interests that she puts her heart into, he says. That’s what made his eyes unable to be taken off of me.
My days are much different now. Filled with moments of care-taking and soul work. Ego releases and breath of fires consume me as I sway around my house cooking and cleaning and running with Zai, falling onto my yoga mat and exercising until I am swimming in sweat to then relax and read whether in my home or at the beach, taking the time to paint my nails and sugar scrub my body and research and write and smile and kiss the Sun every morning that I wake, with a profound sense of fulfillment that must be worked for in life.
I am happy and I am free from my mind’s solitary imprisonment.
It’s hard to move to a new place and feel like you’re losing your sense of routine and then feel helpless and succumb to the overwhelming sadness that fills the void. What makes us happy is just too damn important to disregard or make ourselves believe we can live without it. No matter what it is we love, we do it for a reason. It will take a moment to make a new life in a new place and to figure out where your hobbies and craft fit into the schedule of the new environment. It will take a moment to hunt down the places you love going to and finding replacements for the ones you miss.
Moving and rearranging your schedule, routine, and timing for things when you uproot and move to a new place are inevitable. But if it’s an event you think you might ever do, it’s best to prepare for it. Unlike myself, I figured I wouldn’t have a hard time with coping. And assuming that, was my biggest error.
So, first step: Prepare (even if you end up being fine)
Consider what will be different for a bit and what will be the same. Research ahead of time, nearby places that you like to go to and map out areas you will be in a lot. Develop a sense of time that you will spend driving or doing things in your new area.
Second step: Confide in somebody you can trust and be comfortable with. Let them know if you feel like there is something missing and it’s hard for you to sort out your emotions on your own, because, sometimes it is. It’s a time where we can become confused and disoriented.
Third step: Make a plan for the future on what your days will look like at best. Fill in the blank areas with that of which you love doing. Make it realistic and make it count. Don’t wait like I did and struggle with heavy emotions and irrational thoughts. The more you prepare for, the less will surprise you if it happens and the calmer you will be in dealing with it.
You will remain happy, because you did.