I did it.
I packed up my entire life, put it into boxes, and loaded it on the truck to drive across the country.
It’s a weird feeling, picking up and leaving. It feels strange to have finally done something that you’ve been talking about for years.
So now I’m here, in Colorado, and life is real again.
Except it doesn’t feel real. It feels…I don’t know how to describe it. But having spent every day for the last two weeks packing, unpacking, rearranging furniture, and learning my way around — it doesn’t really feel like real life. It’s feels like prep work.
Not to say that getting unpacked and settled hasn’t been an important piece of the puzzle — it’s been critical! And learning the little things like what days to put the trash out or which grocery stores are cheaper have been important steps in figuring out how life is going to work here. But that’s just it, I’m busy learning how this new life works. And until I get the hang of it, it doesn’t feel like living so much as getting ready to start.
When I was in DC, I had it down. I knew where to go, when to be there, how to get there, and exactly how long it would take. Now, I’m trying to learn new street names or what to do when I lock myself out of the house and the only people with a key live over an hour away. (Solution: Remember the you left the back door open, but not until after you’ve successfully broken into a different door to get inside. Not my proudest moment.)
So for now, I’m trying to accept that this is a learning period. I’m not going to wake up and magically know the fastest routes to the coolest places, or even how to properly take care of a house. But as long as I learn from my mistakes (sorry about the door, Mom & Dad…) and can be patient with myself as I learn the ropes, I think I’ll be okay.
And so far, I’ve learned quite a bit!
Like how it’s crucial to have tissues in every room of the house for the inevitable nose bleeds that occur because of how dry the air is, or that just because you hear thunder doesn’t mean it’s about to storm (and more than likely, it will be sunny within the next 5 minutes).
I’ve also found a really fantastic all-you-can-eat mongolian BBQ joint that will likely become a staple of my diet. #Priorities
But the biggest adjustment has really been the driving.
Living in DC, I really never had to drive, and if I did, it was never more than 30mph. So after a 3-year driving hiatus, it feels like I’m back in Driver’s Ed and everyone here is insane. The highways feel fast, huge and intimidating!
Blinkers? If you’re lucky.
And trying to stay in the slow lane just leaves you dodging turn-only lanes. It’s intense! But it’s necessary, and I’m just happy to have the freedom of driving again. Though, learning how to drive the mountains has been particularly interesting. Did you know you can control your gear shift in an automatic? (Duh, I know, but Maryland is pretty flat and this never really came up before!)
Clearly, every day is an adventure and I’m trying to tackle things one day at a time. Yesterday, I even planted some tomatoes and cucumber plants to really make this place feel like home. Hopefuly the adorable baby bunny that lives in my backyard doesn’t think they’re for him! Now… how long can I go without cutting the grass?
These are the current questions of my new life.
Have you ever started over?
Any tips for someone taking care of a house that knows pretty much nothing?