mnmlist: a fresh start

As you know, in the last few weeks my family and I cleared out our possessions, and moved to a new city. We’re loving San Francisco, missing our loved ones on Guam terribly … but the most interesting thing to me has been the idea of starting afresh.

We’re in a new city, a blank slate for us, and we’re allowed to reimagine our lives. That’s a scary thing, because as humans we cling to the familiar, find comfort in routines and in what we’re used to. We can handle change, but usually in smaller bits. Drastic changes, at the scale of everything we know, are difficult to handle.

It’s also a wonderful thing, because a fresh start means you have nothing tying you down, nothing stopping you from creating the life you want.

It’s painful, in that we left behind the people we love the most. It was like tearing off a limb, except that you can live without a limb … living without these loved ones isn’t so easy. I don’t recommend it to anyone else, but I also know that we will grow as people because of this experience, and become stronger for it.

We’ve gone car-free, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It’s almost impossible to do on Guam, for many reasons, though we did manage to go car-lite while we were there. Today, we walk and take transit everywhere, and it’s easy. We plan to get bikes soon.

We purposely moved to a spot that’s near everything we need: groceries, a library, bookstores, restaurants, hardware store, bakeries, lovely parks, buses and trains. We could have lived cheaper or nicer if we were further away from everything, but we chose to be in a denser area, more walkable.

We are buying most of what we eat at farmer’s markets and in bulk bins, to reduce packaging and processed foods, both better for our health and the environment. We’re still working on this, but already it’s been a dramatic improvement.

We run in parks, sprint up hills, walk everywhere, eat fairly healthy, do bodyweight exercises whenever and wherever we feel like it, play in grass fields. We’re getting healthier and fitter than ever before, and we love it.

We have very little. And that’s perfect.

It’s a fresh start. We’ve only begun to imagine the possibilities. It’s not home yet, but we’re going to make it the home we create.