My friends and I have been undergoing some major life changes this year, and we've been handling our new realities through the tactic of reinforcement. For example, in August, I moved from the bustling-ish city of Minneapolis to an outlying suburb, Prior Lake, with my friend Jenna and her new husband. For the last four months, we've been sending texts like this:
“I’ll be home at 7. Home being Prior Lake, where I live, with you and your husband, in Prior Lake. Because you’re married, and you live in a house, with your husband and me, in Prior Lake. Where you own a home. With your husband. And I currently live there.”
To clarify, I’m not a homeless troll who forced my way into the home of my newlywed friends. In fact, the move to Prior Lake (with my friend and her husband) has been part of a longer transition. Because in a month, I’ll be moving to Berkeley, California.
As you can imagine, the reinforcement for this particular move has been a lot more intensive. Purging, packing and job searching is all top of mind, but my main coping mechanism has been to send reinforcement text messages to Jeff, my boyfriend and soon-to-be-roommate.
“Are you at home? In Berkeley? Where we live? In Berkeley? Because we have a home in Berkeley, California, where we will live together. In Berkeley. Where we will live. In. Berkeley.”
To his credit, he responds with minimal judgment and his own brand of repetition. In fact, I don’t think we’ll get over the novelty anytime soon.
Berkeley, California. I’m going to live there. In Berkeley, to be clear. Stay tuned.