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Last October I packed up my two-bedroom apartment and moved from north Dallas to Forney, Texas to live with six of my family members. I contemplated this move for months. Was it the right thing to do? There were multiple factors involved but, most importantly, I perceived it to be one of the single greatest financial opportunities that I had received or would receive. At the peak of my income, I no longer had to pay rent. Despite months of deliberation and the no-brainer financial opportunity, nothing prepared me for or softened the blow of the significant disruption in my day-to-day rhythm of living that would follow.

I took the upstairs bedroom over the garage. It’s a larger space that feels more like a studio apartment than a room in my parent’s house. The window has a view of the farmer’s field which runs up to a tree line with a housing development on the other side. All my belongings quickly found their place. I pared down to only the essentials in my room, closet, and bathroom while the remainder of my apartment got stored away in boxes in the garage attic.  

I got introduced to my new forty-minute commute to work, which left me with very little time to rest between shifts. I resisted going to the grocery stores in town for months and insisted I drive to the nearest Whole Foods (thirty minutes away) instead. I felt frustrated that my nearest yoga/workout studio was a twenty or thirty-minute drive north or west of me. And if I wanted nature, I needed to drive for at least an hour. Despite being in a home with six other people, I suddenly felt isolated and exhausted from all the driving. 

On my days off, I’d wake up in the morning and stare out my window with confusion. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t feel a rhythm of feeling or action pulse through me. Not a lick of inspiration to be found. I didn’t know what direction to go in. And oddly enough, I felt like I couldn’t remember anything. Everything on my to-do list felt nebulous. My desire for exercise diminished greatly. My inspiration to write dwindled. I felt completely out of my element and out of sync like a fish flopping around on a dry beach. This went on for months. 

I contemplated every morning, noon, and night the diverse elements at play contributing to my rhythmless-ness. I tried a number of tactics in an attempt to coax some semblance of a rhythm to return. My ideas helped but no one thing pushed me over the edge into full flight. In fact, I don’t remember any singular moment where I thought, “Ah, now I’m in a new rhythm.” 

All I know is that I simply stopped thinking about it. And then one summer day, I reflected over the last months and realized that I had found a rhythm. I finally felt at home in my space. I felt comfortable. I was enjoying the land, the people I lived with, and my routines (albeit my routines of health and wellness never quite returned to their full vigor). I felt connected to the city I was living in (not resisting it). I found inspiration for my writing. I felt connected to nature and at peace with how far I had to drive to get to it. My work routine felt groovy. All was well.

Now I sit here on the couch in my uncle’s house in North Dallas on the last Saturday morning of October. I’ve spent a significant amount of time in the last months traveling either out of state or back and forth to this part of town to be with my partner. Despite the travel, I’ve maintained a good rhythm and presence of being until yesterday. 

I found myself sitting in this home feeling disconnected, uninspired, and utterly existential. I’m out of my element for the first time in months. Is it the fall? Is it travel? Is it being out of my space? I have no answer. I have only questions and my reflections. 

What I do know is how eerily reminiscent this feels to how I felt this time last year and how I felt all winter. And I wonder, is it a repercussion of moving and being unrooted? Will I experience rhythmless-ness when I move next? Does this point to the significance of having roots and the power of being settled for me? Well, I’ll let you know when (if) I figure it out.

Photo by Ganapathy Kumar on Unsplash