Four years and five days ago, I moved to Albuquerque. It was a move that had been in the making for a while. I had wanted to return to New Mexico for some time, but it was hard to decide it and finally go through with it. I was afraid of not finding a job, of not knowing how to begin again in a new city.
I am so glad that I moved to Albuquerque. The last four years have been bumpy at times, but there has also been great healing and realization.
There has been one apartment, two cars, and now I’m car free, three jobs, and an attempt at massage therapy that ended with the school closing late last fall.
I have made serious attempts at friendships with some that ended before they really began, due to moving or changing schedules or just a fizzling out. Now, I have a small handful of people that I call good friends and I am grateful for the time and effort that it took for those bonds to grow and mature into friendships.
Albuquerque has been the setting where I came to know grief after my dad died, but it was also the place where I delved into therapy and healing and came out the other side a stronger, resilient, peaceful person, dealing with my own bullshit and learning to let go of others. Albuquerque was also the place where I could carve out my own sense of home. It was familiar, and yet new. I have hiked on the trails and biked and ran on the roads.
I found an apartment that became the home I truly loved, made homey and cozy by me. I purchased art that I loved and hung it on the walls. I painted four bar stools turquoise. I created a gallery of small family photos to hang on the wall in the kitchen. I planted my outdoor table and chairs, along with a couple of Adirondack chairs, on the patio for resting and eating and visiting. I made a reading corner in the living room with my bookshelves and a small chair. I went through all of my belongings, in a big purge, keeping only the ones that I use and that bring me joy.
I have fallen in love here. I have found love for myself here. I have drank wine in solitude and shared meals with my mother when she came to visit. I have fought and grown with a good friend. I have written words here. I have made some decisions and turned directions here. I begin the process of building, and maybe even opening up to the idea of sharing with someone else.
Albuquerque has been the place that I have felt most at home as an adult. I lived in Colorado for 11 years and while I enjoyed it, I never quite felt home there. I lived in the Twin Cities for a few years, but again, I never quite felt home there either. That sense of place and sense of home in Albuquerque has helped to me to explore within and to push my horizons. I think that sense of home and sense of place is what allowed me to find the space and grace to examine my scars and scabs and truly find healing. On the other side of hurt and healing is the realization that there is a way to find the inner calm, no matter if there are external storms.
Here at home, I start training for my second marathon, with some biking and swimming and hiking sprinkled in. I work on some personal professional certifications. I begin another sort and purge of belongings. I write essays for a book. I play with photography and poetry. I get more serious about yoga practice. I work on my finances and relationship with money. I continue the spiritual work, knowing that healing isn’t an endpoint, but an ongoing process. I look at schools and possible directions.
I look back at the last four years in Albuquerque and look forward to the next six to fifteen months, knowing there will be some really big changes, a big directional shift, and possibly a move at the end of that time.
Right now, though, I take a breath, and enjoy this moment.