Thursday, August 29, 2013

It's a Bumpy Ride to the Promised Land

You can just see the top of the Hollywood sign letters peeking up over the truck. The end of an era.

One of the first things we learned in life coach training last year was a handy little assessment gauge called the Change Cycle. It's comprised of four basic stages that spin together to take us through transitions. To better understand the phases, you can think of the metamorphosis a caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly.

Stage 1 is where the caterpillar decides to make the change, thinking in her squishy little head, "I have no idea what the hell is going on...but that's okay..."

Stage 2 is where she builds a cocoon and spends many days in there liquifying and re-imagining herself into a winged creature. This is my favorite phase. Who doesn't like to dream while wrapped up in a comfy blanky?

Stage 3 is where she has to struggle and struggle to free herself from the cocoon. The mantra for this phase is "This is so much harder than I thought it would be...and that's okay."

Stage 4 is the promised land. She's finally a real, live butterfly, free from her cocoon and able to fly wherever she darn well pleases.

Let me go on record and just say: Stage 3 is a bitch.

Apparently if you try to help a butterfly bust out of its cocoon, it will die sooner. The more it has to struggle to become free in stage 3, the stronger it will become.

In coaching, we describe stage 3 as a series of trials and errors. Fits and starts. Attempts and failures. Man, oh man does it wear on you...

This whole moving thing has put Mr. W and I smack dab in the middle of that kind of struggle. For weeks (actually months) it has felt like life is a series of two steps forward, one step back.

After making the first move to Santa Ynez with the cats, I was not only tasked with acclimating to my new (and lovely) space, I got to deal with two trips to the vet, a peeing-on-bedding incident, and a visit from a phone line repairman who I briefly thought might murder me.

We thought the cats were adjusting really well...until this guy climbed on top
of the cute pillows there and unleashed a flood.

I didn't make it through a single day the first week without crying about something.

Last Friday I drove back to Hollywood so Mr. W and I could pack up all of the furniture for the second part of the move. This process, too, was riddled with challenges. The trailer we rented to tow one of our cars wouldn't hold either. The refrigerator took 6 people to get down the front stairs of our house. The truck packing took hours longer than anticipated. 

Unpacking was going pretty smoothly but the cat with the bladder infection decided to pee on our aerobed and bedding three more times this week. Did I mention I don't have a washer and dryer here yet? Tons of fun.

The views here are stunning and are definitely helping me get re-centered. But with that fresh air and open sky comes a whole slew of new wildlife.

I couldn't capture the big bright moon with my little camera. It's really nice
to see the stars at night instead of strobe lights and helicopters.

Tuesday night I came down the hall into the dining room and saw a mouse-sized black cricket crawling next to the sliding glass door. I didn't know what it was at first and my heart hit the roof. It's funny how quickly you can slip into fight or flight... Too big for my beloved bug vacuum, the cricket fell victim to my broom.

I have to say even though he freaked me out, I was kind of happy to see him because I've always heard crickets are good luck.

Maybe the giant moth that I had to capture last night was lucky, too... A symbol of the winged creature I hope to soon become, flying freely in my new promised land.


  1. I Love this one Melissa! Fabulous post!

    1. Thanks! I wish it felt fabulous when it was all happening. ;)

  2. Bad kitty!

    I feel like Lexapro has really helped me through the last year. I think I'm in Stage 3 too.


    1. Mr. W and I had a serious conversation about me going back to therapy amidst all this. I may join you in Lexapro land at some point!

  3. Moving is hard on everyone. Maybe cats are onto something - piss out the toxicity until they feel right (at home)? Hope things feel a little more settled and a lot less frazzled each day - what an adventure this has been!


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