When people ask me how I am doing, which, as you can imagine, is the most frequently asked question these days, the best way I can sum up the experience thus far is that it feels like I am having an out of body experience. It doesn't really feel real. Instead it feels like something that is happening to someone else. It's like I am looking at listings online for apartments that someone else will live in, and I am researching areas around Charlotte that someone else will visit for a weekend getaway. It doesn't really feel like it's my life. It feels like a string of hypothetical decisions. Decisions like, if I had to live in Charlotte, what area would I live in? What run club would I join? Where would I grocery shop? I think through all of these decisions, but it doesn't seem possible that I will be living with these decision, because I never once pictured a scenario that involved moving to Charlotte.
But, it is slowly starting to feel more real. Experiences like signing the relocation agreement (I have a year commitment), being assigned a relocation coordinator, and making the move "Facebook official" made it feel slightly more real last week, and I had a bit of a breakdown on Friday night when talking about it with Phil. I imagine that it will feel even more real when I go to Charlotte at the end of the month and show my mom where I will be working and walk through apartments that I may potentially call home. And then it will REALLY feel real when I buy that one way ticket to Charlotte.
Right now, I see the fork in the road ahead of me, but it hasn't quite hit me that, as Robert Frost so eloquently describes in the poem "The Road Not Taken", I am taking the road less traveled.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that passing there
Had worn them really about the same.
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~Robert Frost, 1920
I have all these thoughts about the upcoming move, and I read Robert Frost's poem, and I think to myself: I hope someday I tell the story of this move with a (happy) sigh and say that taking this road has made all the difference - or at least that it is not a road I regret taking.