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Before I left San Antonio, a wise friend asked me what I was going to miss. At the time I was so intent on packing and moving it was difficult to imagine myself in the future looking at the past and missing anything. My answer included things like “knowing how to get places;” “favorite eateries like Green and Bird Bakery;” “my friends;” “the familiar. The month of May became a series of goodbye lunches, conversations, well wishes, last times, and opportunities to wake up.  Strong emotions arose and even those who normally eschew public displays of emotion found themselves hugging and crying as we said goodbye and drove away.

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The toughest goodbye by far was to a place – my place of refuge in the Picante Paper Book Arts Studio at the Southwest School of Art. My heart found its expression in the warm and humid safety of those walls. Every time I walked in the door I would breath deeply and be rewarded with a mixture of wet fiber and pungent ink. My thoughts on the day of farewell were of gratitude for the place, the people connected to it, and the container of creativity they make.

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My move to Charleston began Tuesday, June 11 when I packed the remainder of my belongings, including a protesting Torti ensconced in her carrier, into the Prius and drove east into the sun. The drive was uneventful. Some rain in Houston, overnight in Baton Rouge, Atlanta, and suddenly I was here, to the place I been talking and dreaming about for three months. In one week and a day I drove a thousand miles, found a place to live, and moved in. Boom!

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Then I heard the voice of the same wise friend reminding me about the “stress of a new address.” (What? Stress?) How it didn’t matter if you really wanted something, were excited and positive, the stress would still be there. She had suggested I take it easy on myself.

Unpacking and placing my belongings took a week. Gluing the furniture damaged in the sloppily packed truck and waiting for the bookshelves to arrive took another few days. Just like everyone else who moves, obtaining a driver’s license, car plates, address updates, utilities, voter registration, library card, post office box, and forwarding mail, were accomplished quickly. Some surprises – like paying personal property tax – but mostly looking things up online and then accomplishing them, checking them off the list. Using Siri to find my way around at first and then practicing getting to the grocery store and coffee shop without her assistance, gradually enlarging my circle of exploration.

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Then I got really, really tired. Exhausted. All the pushing and Boom! of the last six months finally caught me. My thoughts turned to doubting the process and thinking I should have already “arrived.” Where I was, and still am, is in the liminal, in the state betwixt and between, after one action and before next action, at the threshold. In the middle of the ritual, the point everyone must walk through to get to the other side, between the usual ways my identity, time or community had been and the new way it was going to be.

Opportunity like this has a way of slowing one down to allow questions to arise. As my wise friend said it was a good time to relax and not to push too hard.  So, the questions came. What next? Business plan? Get my website done? Get downtown and meet people? Set up appointments? Watch the cat sleep in the sun and establish her new routine? Watch a movie?

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For the last few weeks my priority has been to get my creative work online and to become a social networking maven. Really. Having only paid half-assed attention to social media over the past few years, there was a learning curve and many days spent either standing or sitting in front of the computer trying to figure out how to set things up. Well, first to figure out what was the purpose of each social media expression? Did I need everything? How would I use them? How was I going to get an Etsy shop open? What is all this hash tagging?  As I worked, I imagined my young social media savvy friends being really impressed with my prowess. We’ll see.

Next to my computer is a pile of notes with user names and passwords for each site and other notes with questions to answer about how to do things on the sites.  I Google the question, find a forum, watch a YouTube video and then do it. The method is successful and today the Etsy shop is open and the website is ready to go. Pinterest, Linkedin, and Twitter are up but not quite to my liking, so I will do more work on them. The Square Marketplace is half started and Constant Contact is on the horizon.

Instead of a comprehensive end game, they are a start and I am reading about how to use them all, incorporate them into a marketing plan, and reach the realm of digital maven. They are not product, but process, the act of moving through the liminal to whatever is on the other side of the ritual of moving city.

Winding through this regroup, retreat, and reemergence generates more thoughts than I can possibly pay attention to, so I try not to. My practice is to return to the moment, the one where I am trying to figure out how to make a widget or if I need a widget or what the hell a widget is instead of dwelling on missing Bird Bakery with Melanie or Green with Beck, Allan, and Linda. When I embrace the liminal, say out loud I am tired, and open to the energy everything expands and I can see a flash of what might be on the other side.

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