So this past Friday I met with my therapist as I do twice a month, and after last session’s EMDR, I was definitely hoping for a session more conversational and a bit less intense and emotionally exhausting (nothing like dredging up childhood memories to mentally wipe you out!). Besides, I was going in there with a bunch of ideas for some ways I want to tackle things in my life, little steps to meet my goals, as we all should have in our own lives. Let’s just say it started off a very good day.
When we were talking, I brought up the fact that we were packing up our house and that I’d run across my old vision board that I created during a yoga retreat back in late 2014, just as we were getting started on our family-building efforts. In the center was a woman with a big pregnant belly, sitting cross-legged and smiling. It was flanked by pictures of small children of color to reflect our desire to adopt from Ethiopia, and included a picture of Maya Angelou who has always been an emotional rock for me to think about, not only with her words but in how she lived her life – doing exactly what she wanted to do. (Hell, as I type this I’m wearing my Still I Rise bracelet that is now my mainstay accessory…it reminds me that I will always be growing and good things will find their way into my life.). It even had a photo of Jane Goodall on it, who ironically a few months later would be reflected back in the smiling face and gentle demeanor of the radiologist who did my HSG.
No, seriously folks, here are pictures of the two of them side by side, I’m not crazy!
Anyhow, it came to me while talking to my counselor about this that it’s about time I create a new one, because hanging the old one back up just, well, didn’t make sense anymore. Three and a half years later, our lives are on a trajectory different than what we could have ever predicted back in the year we got married, and with that, I needed to re-imagine my life and what I want going forward. Not that most of what was on the board isn’t valid – we still are hoping to have that little one (but this time via domestic adoption since the first 3 years ended with multiple doors slammed in our face), we still want to travel, we still love our garden. But I have to take that next step and put it, in images and words on my wall, what is now in my heart.
So after I told her this and we continued our conversation about fresh starts and letting go, I thought of what the concept of Letting Go means to me now…
Letting go is NOT forgetting your struggle.
Letting go is NOT ignoring your loss.
Letting go IS freeing yourself from the shackles of your pain.
Letting go IS loving yourself and loving the possibility of who you could become.
Letting go IS opening the door to your future.
We ended the session with something fun we do every couple of months, pulling tarot card(s). Back in March, I asked it a question, and it was about motherhood. This time, it was just shuffling the deck and pulling out a card and seeing what it had to say after all that she and I had discussed…
It was The Knight of Cups. Now for me, I take everything with a grain of salt but also open myself up to possibilities in everything, including tarot, and at the same time, because (like horoscopes) they can be massively open to interpretation, I simply enjoy the discussions they bring up about where things are in my life. And often times? I look at the pictures very literally. So when she asked me, what do you see when you look at this?, I said “It’s a horse and a lobster!” and started giggling.
Ok first of all the photos are all symbolic (even though I’m a horse lover and we were just talking about my wanting to start riding again after we move to the country) and second of all it was a crab, not a lobster. But several days earlier I’d eaten lobster, and being that I’m doing a detox/cleanse thing this week, my hunger was taking priority. Yup, that’s me and tarot.
Anyways, after laughing about my non-spiritual look at the card, looking further into the images on it, there was a definite feeling of optimism coming to me, looking up at the sun and heavens and what not and thinking immediately of my dad, watching over me. I don’t always think of him in that way, so it was a trip immediately thinking of him saying, “Aimee, you’re doing it right.” Go figure. My therapist never tells me what it means, she just asks for my interpretation, then talks about the symbolism the card is known for. A few things being…
It is a Messenger, known for calmness, peace, power, energy, and drive.
It is often related to being in touch with one’s emotions and intuition.
Signifies an emotional experience that will bring high energy and help one surmount life’s obstacles.
Encourages exploration of passions and ideas and to then take those steps.
It can symbolize a event or a person, and is about relationships taking root.
Well, being me, I still thought “damn that’s a horse on a card right after we were talking about me on a horse,” and with that, I left the session thinking about….you guessed it….horses.
And with that, I thought of a house that keeps coming into my mind that my husband and I saw and felt ourselves exhale at as soon as we got out of the car, a horse property (with it’s own sweet red horse greeting us at the fence when we said hello…my heart swooned…) that we liked but ultimately had said no to because the interior layout was awkward. You see, when we visited the property it didn’t sound like the price was very negotiable, and with the cost of a remodel (even with us being able to DIY much of it, some things are best left to a GC) to get it somewhat close to our dream open-layout, it was just overwhelming and we said no. Our agent wasn’t able to come with us and so we decided this on our own. Then someone else swooped in, made an offer, it was accepted, and we just said “ok wasn’t meant to be, let’s wait to find something in our range.” Annnnd we waited. And waited. And nothing with that kind of acreage in that kind of location was coming up, and the weather here at home began to get warmer and warmer. And we said to each other, dang, we should have bought it and figured out a way to make it happen. Oh well.
Flash forward back to post-appointment, thinking about the tarot and what I want from life and having a spring in my step, I drove home.
Two hours later I got an email from the listing agent of the Horse House, as I’d nicknamed it, telling me that they were getting ready to close on that house and the buyer backed out at the last minute (no fault of the seller)…just got cold feet it appeared…and did I want to reconsider it.
And my heart raced. And I called my husband. And he said Uh-Oh. And the next day, he and myself and our real estate agent were on our way back to the coast to look at it. As she helped run her husband’s general contracting business for decades along with being an agent, she knows a thing or two about layouts, and I wanted her to see the house for herself and tell us what she thought about what walls were load-bearing, etc., so we could visualize what was possible in a remodel.
Boy was that worth it. On a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in May, we realized it was meant to be, and put in an offer.
And – similar to the waits during IVF, we sat around nauseous, trying to be prepared for anything, not to plan too much, but to stay optimistic and remind ourselves that We Have Been Through a Helluva Lot and Deserve Good News. Damn Good News. With the deadline of Monday at 5pm looming, we got a call at 3pm from our agent who, in her fabulous spirit of fucking with us, took the long way in telling us WE GOT IT!
So yes my dear readers, we are finally, finally on our way. Not that it’s the last step (our house goes on the market tomorrow so that will determine what we’ll ultimately owe at the end of this…we’re crossing our fingers for a bidding war), but it’s the big big BIG one, and it means that on July 5th, we will have keys to our new home on the Oregon Coast on 5.64 acres, where it’s quiet, where our ducks and bees can play, where it’s outside of the flood and tsunami zones (while still being <15 minutes to the ocean), where we’re still within 2 hours of Portland for doctors, friends and clients, and where we can…breathe.
Doing our little happy dance…
(Horses on tarot cards are kinda rad, no?)
The house is on 5.64 acres with three fenced pastures, a barn with multiple stalls, a shady treed area in the back with a teeny tiny creek (nowhere near the house, amen), tons of room to plant fruit trees, add a greenhouse, have a massive garden and…hear myself think! Oh yeah, and along with downtown Astoria, super close to one of my favorite small-town beaches, Gearhart. Ahhh….