Can you believe that gay people have to move too? Honestly me neither. Not only do I have to deal with the idealization of mediocre gay white men within the gay community, emotional unavailability/unresolved emotional baggage from the few men I have been interested in, and heteronormativity – I have to sell and pack my furniture and set up utilities and wifi too? Please knock me out and wake me up when Le Sserafim, Blackpink, or Twice releases their next comeback so I can jog to it while screaming along the Charles River.
Obviously I’m joking in that I have a ton of privileges and having to move is a piece of cake compared to hardships other people face in life. At the same time I have felt a wee bit stressed. So, I wanted to write this more casual post as a sort of interlude, in the form of specific strategies I’m using to cope with the moving stress, drawing from various therapy orientations. I love writing therapy-related blog posts instead of wasting time contending with mediocre men!
1. Breaking things down into smaller steps from cognitive behavioral therapy. As a self-proclaimed dainty gay, I really do not like logistical activities, and moving involves a sometimes overwhelming number of logistical activities. Sitting across from someone sharing their deepest life traumas, concerns with intimacy, and/or fears about the future? I’d take that any day over putting my belongings into a box. One strategy I have thus used involves breaking down the huge task of moving into more manageable bits, and then I try to accomplish one to three moving related tasks per day – such as putting up a piece of furniture for sale on Facebook marketplace, emailing my roommate about what Ikea lamp we want in our living room, or calling Xfinity to set up my wifi. When I use this strategy, I also try to honor what I have accomplished already – like how I sold my big bookshelf a couple of days ago, yay – instead of only naming what I need to do moving forward.
2. Practicing present moment awareness from dialectical behavior therapy. As a self-proclaimed type A adjacent gay, sometimes I direct a lot of my attention to what tasks I need to accomplish to move my life forward. Thus, I have made an intentional effort to enjoy different activities I do while I do them instead of only focusing on moving. I try to savor the stretch of my leg muscles when I jog to “Focus” by Ariana Grande or play tennis, the laughter I share with my friends when I talk with them in-person or over zoom or Skype, and the intellectual and emotional immersion I feel when I read a great book.
3. Reflecting on my values from acceptance and commitment therapy. As a self-proclaimed deep gay, I try to think about what I do and why I do them
unlike some of the men I’ve gone on dates with, okay I’ll stop roasting men at this point and just to be clear I have gone on some dates with nice thoughtful if not boring guys where we just didn’t connect more deeply, so. The other day I drove back from visiting a friend in D.C. and reminded myself that I am engaging in these day to day monotonous and time-consuming moving tasks to get me closer to my goal of working as a licensed psychologist helping to empower marginalized communities. When I honor this deeper purpose I feel a little less annoyed by moving, or at least more able to contextualize my annoyance within the broader vision of my life and my life values.
How have you coped with moving or similar stressful tasks? Do you think you could apply any of the above strategies to other areas of your life? I definitely don’t operate solely from a cognitive and behavioral perspective though these interventions stood out to me in writing this post. General reactions to this post? Hope you are all well.