Know This Love: Going anyway


Moving across the country is scary in any case. It becomes terrifying when you and your girlfriend of more than nine months break up less than 17 days before you do it.

This is where I find myself.  When this column posts, I will be just nine days away from the move. I’m going through with it despite the loss of the foundation I thought I would have.

I’m not going to rehash the break-up or my pain over it in this column. I’m distraught and grieving, but you can find posts like that all over the internet. Instead, I want to talk about the steps I’m taking to react to the life change.

Important thing number one: find a new place to live.

I searched Craigslist, and happily, found a place that looks about 99-percent sure not to be occupied by a psychopath or an asshole. The rent is affordable, and there’s enough space for my piano, bed and a writing area.

I’ve also re-evaluated my plans according to what I still desire and what has changed now that I’m not with my former girlfriend.

I’ll still continue with college with the list of classes I’m ready to sign up for, I’ll continue playing the piano and performing at nursing homes, and I’ll continue to write and edit (ahem — insert plug for my professional writing services).

Plans for the future beyond that, however, are in shorter supply.

It’s not that I can’t imagine things I’d want — it’s that the vision I (we) had for the future is now smashed, and I haven’t yet come up with a new one.

That’s the catch about planning for the future. You may have a clear idea of where you’re going, but the universe probably has other plans. Or to quote some wise fellow: “Men plan, and God laughs.”

So beyond finishing my degree, continuing to play music and writing, I’m not sure what I’ll be doing. But I expect the way will show itself when it’s time.

I’m already setting my sights on the possibilities that have opened up, rather than focusing exclusively on what is now behind me. Everyone is still supporting me in making this major change, and I’m very grateful for it.

We must understand this: nothing in life is guaranteed.

It’s ironic my column last week reminded us that love is a gift freely given, not an obligation, and that no matter what, everyone we love will leave us one day, whether through life changes or death.

I’d forgotten how often what I write is really for myself.

I might add that circumstances are the same — that everything will change, because change itself is the only constant.

We cannot cling to anything, because it will slip through our fingers as soon as we close our fist. But if we can breathe through and allow the experiences to wash over us, they will hold for us the seeds of our transformation.

The truth is, I’m sometimes terrified, but I’m going anyway.

Matthew Stensland-Bos explores conscious living, loving, healing and grounded spirituality in Know This Love, a weekly SFBay opinion column. You can find him on his website, www.wordswithmatthew.com

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