Last updated on July 27th, 2023 at 01:39 pm
It was three days of movers. One for my ex-husband–two for me. It was stressful.
At one point, it looked like I would be giving up half my belongings. I tried to hold fast to the thought that these were just things–that I could replace them, and they didn’t truly matter. But letting go of our home, my hometown, my work, and my friends, who are like family, felt like a punch to the gut. I didn’t want to have to give up one thing more.
Everything important was packed. Even what I thought was important truly isn’t. While packing up, my chronic Lyme disease reared its ugly head. This is the law of autoimmune disease:
The most inconvenient time to be sick is when you will most likely be very sick.
But there was no stopping the move. It had to be done. I left town with my home still needing to be emptied out. My best friend Elizabeth and ex-husband worked very hard to finish. I was physically and emotionally drained and needed to get on the road.
Saying goodbye to the friends who have helped me survive the past few years was soul-crushing.
I made the twenty-six-hour drive over two thirteen-hour days. At first, I was so excited to be alone on the road with my audiobooks. I pushed my body to do two days versus three. Kansas’ use of wind power blew me away.
The first night, I used Expedia’s service to book a hotel in the city I thought I’d end up in. The woman on the phone had trouble spelling my name even after saying it phonetically several times. She did manage to get my credit card perfect, though she never got my email right, and I never got a confirmation. As I was on the road, I wasn’t concerned. She verbally gave me the hotel’s name and an address in downtown St. Louis.
I arrived at the destination at around 10:30 pm after driving for 12+ hours—a feat for anyone with a chronic autoimmune disease. The hotel was nowhere to be found. I drove around downtown searching for the Pier Three Inn. Her accent and phonetic spelling were terribly wrong.
She meant Pear Tree by Drury but never once said “Drury.” I finally realized that she had never given me the proper name of the hotel. The address was an intersection, and GPS said to walk the remaining blocks on foot. Downtown. Alone. At night.
Not being a foolish woman, I left downtown and headed on my way to find a hotel off the highway. I was angry, cranky, afraid, and tired.
The next day’s drive was difficult.
I used the seat warmers to help my body handle the drive. I tried to stick to my limited-ingredient Lyme disease diet. I brought a cooler with gluten-free options. I still ended up eating some fast food.
Finally, late the second night, I arrived at my mom’s house outside of Charlotte, NC. My sister, Nadia, who I haven’t seen in three years, was there with her two children. I spent that first night with my beloved niece beside me, cursing the years apart. Even though I was kicked a few times during the night, seeing her sweet face in the morning was worth it.
The only thing that could have improved this was if my baby sister and her new twins were also there. You take being together for granted when you’re a leave-home-now teenager. Being together now is a blessing.
After a few days with the family, I stayed with friends at the beach. I have been utterly useless. My Lyme disease, the move, the end of a period of my life, and the long drive have exhausted me. I can’t seem to rest enough.
My belongings will arrive shortly, and I do not know how I will unpack them. That is the curse of having a chronic illness. You need help for things that others can push themselves to do. I will ask for help. I will hire help. It will somehow get done. But I do wish I could do it all myself.
I haven’t seen my new home yet. I have an awesome landlord who has been very helpful. I’m excited to see it. It’s in the country. I feel it will be rejuvenating. Cities drain me. Nature restores me. Or, I may chicken out and realize this glamour girl is meant for the big city. I’m both excited and nervous.
A little bit of rest won’t hurt me. Ignoring my body will. I’m on the precipice of great things.
I am dreaming of new horizons. I am achieving my dreams.
Iman Woods is an American artist who specializes in pin-up photography. Through a unique and therapeutic process, she’s spent over a decade in perfecting, Iman helps women undo the damage from a negative self-image and unrealistic beauty industry expectations. She helps women embrace their own style of beauty and see themselves in a new light. You can find her on her website, ImanWoods[dot]com.
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