Insights From the Road
Djuna Shellam The Write OWL—Episode 21
In the 21st episode of Djuna Shellam The Write OWL, I thought I’d share some insights from the road and my relocation experience. I think moving should be the first three to ten most stressful life events on the stress list. You know, the list that includes death, loss of job, etc.
While I’ve been dreaming of and plotting this move for nearly half my life, maybe more, it hasn’t made the overall experience less traumatic or stressful. Between preparing my house to sell, the marketing of it, the selling, endless packing, and then moving, it’s a gnarly process. And it’s not finished yet. While I have arrived at my destination, I’ve yet to find a place to live, so I’m living somewhat of a nomad life, with all of my earthly possessions locked in storage. I’m generally a homebody, an earth sign, so my version homelessness just adds to the trauma.
There’s also the emotional roller coaster to consider. For me, next to having children, which I forgot to do, owning my own home was tantamount to adulthood status. It took me until the age of 42 to achieve that milestone. I’m a late bloomer. Not owning a home is a choice I’ve made for the moment, but it’s difficult to wrap my brain around that concept after having spent a lifetime of convincing myself that not owning a home is not an option. Then there are the monumental life events that happened in my house—the good, the bad and the ugly—a house that is now someone else’s. Some memories I’m happy, no, thrilled, to leave behind. Others… well, I think it will be a long, long time before I can accept that I will never ever again have access to where they were made. Many challenges, indeed.
However, ever since I’ve embraced the writer in me, I now see life’s challenges as potential fodder for my stories. Anything that’s difficult, interesting, new, or just plain awful, I now tuck away for future reference. Rather than allowing negative and terrible experiences to get me down, I think of the potential storylines or plot twists I can catalogue along with my insights from the road to use for future writings. Honestly, if not for my writer’s perspective, I’m convinced I would have gone mad many years ago.
One plus about the move was that I was fortunate to meet and become friends with a U-Haul employee who, when I realized I was too tired and stressed to drive the truck myself as planned, so kindly offered to drive the ginormous 26′ truck for me. It was kismet that we met, and a trip that had the makings of an absolute disaster ended up being probably the most fun roadtrip I’ve ever taken. I cannot remember a time when I’ve laughed so hard for almost two days straight. Yes, it’s true, it is something I don’t think I ever want to do again, but if not for U-Haul Amy—her humor, her thoughtfulness, her calm in every terrible situation, and her super driving skills—who knows where I’d be right this very moment. I shudder to think. I think the best insight from the road I can give is to listen to the voice in your head in times of stress. If it says to you, “You may not be able to do this safely,” you should listen and accept help from good samaratins. Don’t be a hero. Dead heroes are, well… dead.
So this part of my journey is finished, but I will still be without my own home for another six weeks. Thankfully, I have loving family members who are willing to house me and my little dog in the interim. I think they might be a little insane, but still I’m grateful. While I wait, my plan is to write, write, write. Dot in the Weeds needs my undivided attention and I shall give it forthwith.
I hope my insights from the road were helpful. Check out my Amazon.com author page HERE.