There’s something unique about moving that you can’t quite experience at any other time. More specifically, the first “normal” day after moving. You get up at your normal time and follow your normal routine, and while you’re probably using the same grooming products, travel mug, and vehicle, and all in the same way, everything still feels different. Maybe even clumsy or awkward, like you haven’t done this same routine dozens of times before.

This compounds when that clumsy feeling is coupled with the excitement and satisfaction of taking a big step forward in your life. Maybe it’s getting out of a bad situation, or moving somewhere you’ve always wanted to live, or a combination of changes. Things are suddenly very different, and that chaotic energy has you looking at everything else a little differently, too.

For my spouse and I, this step was deciding to pick a place to live for a while. We’ve moved around a lot - once every year for a while - and hadn’t really settled on where we should end up. Do we stay in Ohio near family and friends? Move to expand our horizons and be close to friends out in Toronto? Take things further and live near relatives in Europe, or somewhere altogether new on our own? With about a decade of careful planning, we had managed to slowly build up some buying power to make a move when the opportunity presented itself. With eerily excellent timing, we found what feels like the perfect place for where we are right now, and at a time when we were losing our home and needed it the most.

It has been nearly two months between when we got the news that our rent was going through the roof under new ownership and today, with that hopeful-awkward feeling I mentioned before. We’ve experienced a whole spread of emotions along the way - fear and sorrow that we were losing a home that we loved, excitement from finding an even better place to live, despair as we encountered more and more problems along the way, hope as we have learned and worked hard to overcome those problems, and the joy of family and friends as they have supported us with help, experience, and love.

I am looking forward to when I’ll be able to sit down at my desk again, building projects and pouring my efforts into studying development daily, as I do miss the process very much. It was difficult feeling like it was ripped from my hands by the sudden shift in our living situation and overall stability. That being said, daily navigating difficult situations, learning wildly different skills across disciplines, and ending most days physically exhausted from manual labor, all have been a good shake-up and rest to the more physically passive and insular rut of peak COVID months.

Today was the first morning of more awkward-hopeful mornings to come. There is a lot of work left to be done over the new few weeks, and very tight deadlines to make it all come together, but it feels great to put physical effort into building a better and safer foundation and future.