Change of Scenery: Pros and Cons

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Sometimes, When You Change Your Scenery, You Change Your Life

The last time I went to the movies, the theatre had previews of classic movies that were scheduled to be shown as a special offering. I caught a few lines that really landed with me:

  • “In mishap, change can happen.”
  • “Sometimes, when you change your scenery, you change your life.”

These lines are very fitting for what’s going on for me. Changing my scenery by traveling brings me great joy. But changing scenery when it’s not by choice is a whole other story. Here I am again, moving for the 6th time in just a few years, not by choice.

The backstory: In 2009, my amazing friends and family had to pack up my studio apartment in Nor Cal when it was obvious that my injuries were too severe for me to live on my own. (On June 3rd, 2009, I’d left to go camping for the weekend never imaging that I would never see that studio again.) Following 3 ½ years of recovering at my parents’ house, I jumped at the chance to move back to the Bay Area to house-sit for my friend’s mother-in-law. Then I moved to a guest room in a large two-story barn in Danville with horse stalls on the lower level. The barn room didn’t have a shower or kitchen so I  walked to the main house to share their kitchen and bathroom. The barn was nice but didn’t have any insulation so I had to move out after 5 months due to the heat of the summer. A gentleman in the neighborhood heard about my hiking fall and offered his office space above his garage. That was a lovely studio space with a kitchenette, a bathroom and a sleeping area. He had never rented it out before so we negotiated a price that worked for my budget. But 6 months into my stay, he gave me an eviction notice which just happened to be on the day of my 40th birthday, unbeknownst to him. His plan was to rent it to his niece who needed a place to stay and could easily afford over a thousand dollars for it. I then rented a room for 2 years in a very generous retired couple’s home for a reduced rate. Unfortunately, things shifted for them recently and I found myself needing to move, again.

My scenery continues to change. I miss not having a space to call my own. Mishap after mishap, all this moving has made me tired of change. I am eagerly looking forward to watching what comes from these mishaps and moves. They’ve been so prevalent in my life. Though, don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely grateful that so many people have come through in housing me up to this point.

For now, I’ll be house-sitting for a couple from a yoga class I teach as they take a few trips throughout the summer. When they are home, I’ll stay in the driveway in their spacious RV. When they are traveling, I will house-sit for them and care for their 21 year old cat. I’ll have an entire home to rest easy in. Although it’s not my home, it’s spacious and contained and, most importantly, it’s not a tent on the corner of Broadway and Main like I feared.

At the end of the summer, I’ll need to move again and although being a nomad can be fun when the circumstances are right, I’m ready to find stability. I’m hoping to find an affordable option in the Bay Area. I wonder what my next home will end up being… a barn, a motor-home, a tree house, a tent!? I’m dreaming of an actual apartment, maybe even an in-law unit or studio.

Then there’s change-of-scenery-by-choice… When I was recently awarded a scholarship for the online 40 hour Hay House Writer’s Workshop, it came with the option to attend an in-person workshop in Chicago for no charge. The timing was in line with my move date. I jumped at the chance to be in the company of fellow writers and to learn about editing, marketing, publishing and writing from experts in the industry.

What I came away with is far more than I imagined. My two week excursion to Chicago, and then additional travel in Minneapolis, has opened my mind and heart, rekindled my love of travel and offered me validation as a writer, a friend, a traveler and a potent manifestor.

For months, I’ve been feeling uncertain, sad and uprooted. This trip has confirmed that possibility and potential still exist. Changing my scenery via this trip has changed my vantage point, refreshed my perspective. As I return to California to house-sit, I’ll be living with the bare minimum of moveable, needed belongings for the next few months. A new place to call home is a change of scenery that I eagerly look forward to.

I’ll leave you with a thought to reflect on: What in your life could use a change of scenery? And how could you bring this change of perspective about?

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