Living, Sans Sidewalks
I’m picking up and moving to a new city in 3 weeks to be with the man I love. I’ve been in the Virginia Beach area for 4 years now, and I’m done. I’ve never had any family here. The friends I’ve made will last wherever I go. My company is letting me telecommute. It’s time to go.
The last time I lived with this man, we broke up in 4 months and I moved back to my comfort zone in a posh, “urban” suburb, where I moved right after college. I liked having an apartment as opposed to a house. I liked being around people. And more than anything ever in the whole wide world, I LOVED the sidewalks.
Miles and miles of sidewalks through row upon row of gorgeous turn-of-the-century houses, houses so pretty you could just die. Sidewalks that make me want to run. Sidewalks that keep 30-minute dog walks after work interesting and not exhausting. Sidewalks that make it dumb to drive when you can so easily walk.
I’m ecstatic that I’m moving. I love our little house and all the plans we have to make it Ours. I love the thrift store furniture we’ve accumumlated and refinished and beautified together. I love the 8 muddy pawprints by the back door that will never ever stop, no matter how many mats I put down. I love the packets of herb seeds I’m going to sow in the front flower boxes and I love the way my Christmas wreaths will look on the front windows.
This morning I scheduled all of my move-out cleanings and inspections. I arranged to pick up some moving boxes from Craigslist. I asked my mom to come help me decorate and organize a few days after I move. I bought our CSA for the year and inquired about a morning bootcamp. I picked up some crafting supplies for my new home office and made a note to call in the morning to have the utilities turned off.
I am ready to go.
The only hang up is that where I’m going doesn’t have sidewalks.
There’s a nice, big, safe neighborhood a few blocks over that has wide streets and minimal traffic. I will walk and run there, but I’m really nervous and sad about it. I’ve been spoiled my entire pedestrian life. I’ve always had well-lit, wide, beautiful sidewalks to take me where I want to go, whether it’s to get coffee with a neighbor or to melt away 60 pounds.
It sounds silly, but this has been the hardest thing for me to swallow regarding moving. Not how I’ll live without being near the beach during the summer, or whether or not I’ll make new friends. But whether or not I’ll keep walking and running without having sidewalks to do it on. As if my legs won’t work properly without the correct surface on which to move.
I know I have to continue to walk and run. I owe that to my body and to the 8 furry legs in my house who need to get outside and sniff and work. Maybe I’m making something out of nothing. Maybe in a few weeks I won’t miss having sidewalks the way I’m afraid I will. I sure hope so. I’m just now starting to enjoy running.