Big Change, Fear and Loss, and the Need to Let Go

test paint patches at the new apartment
test paint patches drying on our new condo's walls.

I had a dream last night that my cats were bored. I looked at them being bored, and I thought about how they could live for 20 boring years in my home, or how they could live for five brief but interesting years out in the world.

I spent the remainder of the dream weeping inconsolably for the horror of my actions, because safety to the point of boredom had robbed their one shot at living of most of its potential for meaning. There is little worse than that.


A few nights before that, I dreamed of a giant, illustrated bumble bee. It had a large mouth filled with triangular, menacing teeth. Its mouth opened in the shape of an engulfing wishbone and scooped up an entire dog, which was barking at the bee. The dog didn't know that the bee could eat it, and it believed until it was swallowed whole that its barking meant something or would have some effect. It didn't.

The bee didn't hate the dog, or even want to scare the dog. The bee was just doing what the bee was made to do, which was to eat what was in front of it.

My dream kept juxtaposing my position as observer and my identity as self on top of the bee and the dog so that I became confused about whether I was the bee eating or the dog being eaten or the observer neglecting to step in and change the course of events. I felt powerful and annihilated and guilty.


Taking out our first mortgage and being in this limbo space of not having moved yet but preparing to do so has me anxious. It has me feeling like I can't play anymore, like I have to take everything that much more seriously now that the walls that house me are mine.

In a lot of ways, this makes my life much more secure, but rather than that translating into a feeling of security, it's translating into a heavy feeling of loss and fear.

I am sure that this will pass. This is a natural reaction to change. We mourn what we will no longer have or experience, even if that experience was not ideal, and we fear what's coming, because it hasn't popped out from around the corner yet to show itself.

I think I need to take Maira Kalman's advice: go for a walk, empty myself out, and let wonderful things happen.

That walk will end with me buying paint for our new home and heading over to start the work of making it ours, and I am excited about putting ourselves into the space we live for the first time together. We are banishing Rental Apartment White forever!


Help 40 gain access to clean water for my 40th birthdayPS. My 40th birthday is on December 29th. I'm celebrating my birthday by raising $2,650 with Charity: Water to bring 40 people clean water for life, and we're already 24.5% there!

So, as a gift to me and to the world, let's make this happen.

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