“Go back?”

he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!” So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.”

J.R.R Tolkien

One of my favorite songs to sing to Duder in moments of ‘ok-frustration’ is the “Uh oh! Grass! Long wavy grass!! We can’t go over it-” remember that one? I think these two probably only ever hear the ‘can’t go over it’ sung in that weird, deeper-monotonous voice, reserved for that awkward key ‘catch-all’ community songs are written in (Happy Birthday, He’s A Jolly Good Fellow, any children’s song).

Anyway, I sing that song a lot to myself – making me realize I am still a farmer, needing a song to keep pace to. The ‘Can’t go over it’ song was the first lesson I learned of pushing past something to just, get through it. Believe me, I appreciate the motivation in this song far more than the “I’m being eaten by a boa-constrictor…” (in swimming class…)

What is this about? Well, with a Georgia-font flourish, I can unveil the grand plan; what all the secret, heart-blossoming hype we’ve alluded to has been about. Moving. We, our lil’ family of three, are moving again.

When we moved from the apartment to this lovely home, I was silent about what number this tallied for me. Because I am tired of feeling like I jinx it by saying ‘Well, this is number X, so it has to be the last time!’ but in this case, it is the last of something.

This will be my twenty-first move, in my (soon to be) eighteen years of living ‘independently’ and I am moving back home. Yup, we’re moving West (well… 166km and 2hrs West).

This decision is not new, it had been thrown around in that weird, super uncommitted way you do early on in a relationship. That sense of invincibility, the excitement and passion of our blossoming relationship found kinship in the food, wine, arts, and general cultural scene of Stratford. But, after our own set of challenges, a couple of years, the whisper didn’t fade.

There is a very large queer population, an especially prominent transient population in the summer, as it is a theatre town. So realistically, there has always been that safety-appeal. With everything else that has piled up, it seems like a natural choice to make when we realized, we have to move.

I aspire to be a normal, awesome citizen instead of cloistering myself away. I could comfortably see myself volunteering at duderonomy’s school. We have friends, obviously originally ‘mine’ but they have wholly welcomed Aisha, as an individual, who just happens to also have captured my heart. And duderonomy has friends, already.

My fabled sister lives there, and while that is going to be a short-lived reality, it will be cool to run into her, or call her up for a walk. My niece and her boyfriend will be there for a while, which I am so excited for, also realizing it will probably be more of a ‘run-into-ya’ thing. Maybe not!

We are purchasing a house with my mother.

Talk about setting roots. Family, friends, a house, work is taken care of, we have support – so maybe Aisha will begin to heal. Moving, once upon a time, was something I obsessed over. My mum and I would troll open-houses, talk about moving, look at the paper and… dream. I don’t know why; we had an amazing house. We were able to travel; we spent time in other homes.

But then I started my own personal apartment-carousel. The obsession soon made way for exhausted resignation. It all started when I turned eighteen, and my parent’s conservativism (prudish and maybe semi-homophobic-in-the-parental-way mindset *god I hate qualifiers*) and my requests were not harmonious. So, I, in a much-needed break from what was going on, moved out with a friend from high school, and my then-girlfriend.

How do you decide if you are ready to live independently? Looking back, though I recognize it would have been detrimental to stay, I wish I had waited! I didn’t have it that bad – I would have had more time with my dad. We could have compromised about my request (no secret, I wanted my girlfriend to sleep over because she lived out of town, they thought we would have crazy lesbian sex all over the house…). But that’s not what happened. So, with my multiple jobs and being almost finished high school, I moved out.

I needed to not be at home helping with my dad (as terrible as that sounds), but I ended up feeling over worked anyway. I finally graduated, the romance ended, my second and third apartments were quickly experienced, and jobs started to ‘pile up.’ As did my bad choices, mapped across cities and decades.

But the thing is, I was not ready to live with my significant other. I was not ready for sharing spaces with… strangers (not my family members). But I really kind of had no choice. I learned a lot from this first space: boundaries, fragile lies for gullible people (me), how to be cheated on and deal with it, and a host of other things I don’t think I would have necessarily ever been prepared for. But what followed… Well, I don’t know if you would have been either:

Here we go. From home to Apartment 1 (move 1) and then two other apartments (move 2 & 3) in two years. Then, new city: Toronto (apartment 4/move 4) – home (move 5) – Toronto (apartment 5/move 6)– home (move 7) – Toronto (apartment 6 & 7/move 8 & 9). Then, my small trip to Nova Scotia (apartment 8/move 10) where changing drivers licenses and addresses, getting insurance, etc., was not worth the hassle when we moved back eighteen months later. Apartment 9 and move 11, I’m in St. Catharines. Suffice to say the next few years were a fast-forward of homes 10-18 and moves 12-20.

The move to this house, as I’ve said, felt like a break. Like we could get our bearings, be on-top of parenting and get better in general. We did it too, which is the funny part, and maybe why I feel less stress now. Aisha was successful with her businesses. I was doing well and getting to where I am now. We were learning great lessons, getting into a groove, and then… dun, dun, dun – the back thing.

What does your derailment look like? Because, to be honest, all my moves, all of my changes have made mine quite… elegant if I must say.

I’m kidding. ‘Twenty moves’ starts as a frazzled-pull-out-the-boxes-you-didn’t-bother-unpacking, and eventually evolves into just not having that much to pack anymore, because you’re tired of packing so you ‘declutter’ every time you go. But the support and joy at our recent decision (on the ending end) has affirmed what we knew:  we’ve gotta go. Even duder, in a very mature conversation, admitted he recognizes that he needs a little more schedule consistency, which can best be obtained by removing the…

(what is proving a… thing… is not a thing but the tension of sleepovers elsewhere weekly, when the child wants to, but does terribly when allowed to, is… well…).

My love, my ever-surprising gov’love, chomped it and slid the last, hard, and oddly shaped piece into place this week and asked/told duder’s dad about the move. Which meant it was/is official, everyone (for the most part) knows. The meeting went well. Until there was a moment the next day, that also, realistically, went well. But God, that heart pang. Not even just for me – yes. I want and need to move home. But also, for duderroo. For that brief moment where I forgot how reasonable this is, and that we can go- I honestly thought we may have to stay.

What am I getting at? All of it. My magnetic shift, the time-alignment and auspicious reason/timing of it all, and well, y’know, the stuff I deal with. And now, we get to go. All of this good and bad is pressing at the lip of the volcano and our world is about to be washed anew again. This time, I am feeling that feeling I don’t like but in this scenario it is more like a comfortable sweater. The hood falling perfectly, the arms just long enough.

I am excited to move home. To give duder and my girl what I had, hoping I can find it for them; that we can make it together. I am sad to leave certain things and what had felt like chances and optimistic opportunities, but what is meant to continue, will.

Am I excited to pack up again? Book the truck, get boxes, tape, and then undo it again? No. Not at all. Am I excited for my mum to arrive tonight and show her the listings? Did I love showing Joey, and every moment Aisha and I debated and hand-picked each one? Absolutely.

I love that, even though I feel overwhelmed, a part of a lot more than I am used to, and inundated by things I wouldn’t have been otherwise, I am feeling ok with it. Like it is manageable. Something will blip, without a doubt, but I genuinely believe this is why home became two people, until we needed more.

“It is always important to know when something has reached its end. Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters, it doesn’t matter what we call it; what matters is to leave in the past those moments in life that are over.” 
― Paulo Coelho, The Zahir

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