Reality hits you in the face

Major life changes just about kill me.

There was the move to Davis, CA in 1999 that resulted in one almost severed pinky finger and one car crash. My partner in that highway mambo on Interstate 5 just looked at the remains of his car and said, “Well, it’s a good thing I have 4 other cars back home.” I roller-skated to work for a month.

Our move to Madison, WI in 2001 faired little better. There, I bit it when my bike slid on the wet railroad tracks criss-crossing a busy intersection. The next day, I fell down our stairs with a glass of water in hand.

So it was with a fair amount of trepidation that I stepped into our new apartment in Montreal last Saturday. I’ve tried to be conscious of how my anxiety about change can manifest itself in strange and physical ways. I thought I had already dealt with it before I even left Madison, via a series of very odd and unreasonably painful random bodily inflammations including a boil on my nose that gave me a three-day headache.

I though I was on top of it this time. I thought I was home-free.

Then reality hit me in the face.

With the corner of the kitchen cabinet, to be more precise. And, yes, it hurt just as much as it looks like it did. Yet, when the flurry and the panic subsided, relief washed over me. I could stop worrying about whether something terrible would happen. It just had. A friend recently shared a quote by Wendell Berry: "that little nagging of dread is your first bonding with the unknown wilderness you are about to enter into." I guess I have been bonding with the unknown for a while but it took almost braining myself to finally start making peace with this new phase in our life.

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