I met a friend for tea the other day and as we looked over the overwhelming tea list, I said, “This kinda reminds me of a place I really like in Pike’s Place Market. It’s called Market Spice. They have EVERYTHING.” It took us both a few confused sentences to realize I was talking about Seattle and hadn’t said so.
I am in between. Most of the time, my feet are here. They still walk here, and know where they’re going. My head is in Seattle, or planning Seattle; where I will live, how I will get to Whidbey Island, who I will meet, where I will eat, which parks Kiva will like, how the pattern of my footsteps will change. The rest of me is between, my emotions spiraling from almost manic excitement to a loss that makes it hard for me to breathe. Knowing what I need to do, what I will do, what I ultimately want to do, and knowing to do it will mean I leave a life that is brimming with warmth. Who knew there was so much of it in Minnesota?
I started telling strangers I was going to move to Seattle even before I started telling friends. I wanted to know how the words would feel. I was always met with envy foremost, then, “How we you leave Minnesota?” I can’t complain; it’s great to live in a place where people love to live. I felt somewhat dismissive two months ago. “Oh, well,” I said, “I’ll come visit. It’ll be fine. I’ll come in the summer!” (Har de har, the jokes just keep on coming.) Now, I feel torn in two directions; my ambition in one pocket, my mouth watering for change; my self-preservation in the other pocket, begging me, like a child, not to leave.
Part of preservation lies in my need for control. I know what I get when I stay here, year after year the same. There’s a comfort to knowing what to expect. But, there’s an excitement which lies only in being afraid and doing it anyway that I almost suspect I need in order to feel alive.
Being between means I can love the place where my feet are as fiercely as I can. It means I can anticipate the place where my head is as hopefully as I can. It means I use the stuff in the middle to make the most of the time I’ve got left and think about the time when I come back. Because I will come back, probably in the summer.