A little over a year ago I jumped out of a plane for the first time. I haven't since but I may again. There was a brief moment, when I sat with my experienced tandem partner on the ledge of the plane, legs dangling over into oblivion, that was particularly rich. As the weight of the air 12,500 feet up rushed towards us, I strangely felt rooted to the plane. That moment is crystal clear in my mind. I had no thoughts. I had only sensations, none of which were familiar.
The leap that followed only moments after was one I'd never taken before. It was one full of question marks and empty of attachment. I could not know what lay ahead. How it would feel. Where I would land. How I would land. If I would land. I had a whole lot of faith, and the rest was presence. Everything else was wiped away for the time being.
This is how I feel now.
Our house went on the market just over two weeks ago--right when the market "cooled." The expectations we had, the stories people told us of hungry buyers outbidding each other--none of that has been true for us. In addition to a cooling market, we live on one of the busiest streets in the city. It is not the first choice for 99% of people looking to buy. This is okay. It just leads us away from our plan. It leads us into uncharted territory where we must wait, have faith and be present.
My last day at work is Friday. While losing income is certainly not ideal, it is what it is. But the upside is that it means I get to be present with this moment more. Present with John more. Present with this vision we have of the next steps... more. We both feel like we're dangling from the ledge of an airplane, though, without the exhilaration of skydiving. It is a simultaneous feeling of rootedness and detachment. And it is uncomfortable. We're not sure what to do with ourselves when we're home. Our house is no longer ours--we've packed anything that holds our essence or meaning. And it must stay immaculate. So, we've created a couple small spaces where we can relax in downtime, only to be cleaned up immediately after.
I had been thinking of this stage as limbo. A place to wait. But that is inaccurate. This moment is so much more than limbo. It is a place to get better at being uncomfortable. Something we will experience a lot over the coming year. This is a moment that teaches us that hard work matters, not because there is a guaranteed reward, but because the doing of the work in and of itself has intrinsic value. In all honesty, this is more my realization than John's. He has a very strong sense of the value of hard work for the mere sake of it. I, on the other hand, tend to question "why" so much that I can opt out of hard work if I don't see the value in a particular task. In the last few days, our focus has shifted ever so subtly from just maintaining the "curb appeal" of the house to taking loving and tender care of the house. It is now for us as much as it is for potential buyers.
So we will do what is in front of us and we wont place pressure on ourselves for mapping out the trip preemptively. It is impossible to think about the trip right now. Sure, we're doing some things to keep the process moving, but we have yet to dive in and get excited. There is plenty of time for that. Now, we do what we can to be cool with feeling uncomfortable. We make peace with the what ifs and we move through our fears. We don't let unsolicited advice or the stories of houses selling like hotcakes get us down. It is what it is. Making peace with that--and surrendering the idea that we can control it--is where the gift is.