My Five Moves

I have an itch to write tonight, and I will forgo writing about our big family news and our recent month-long vacation and my fun weekend away with my sisters to analyze this post: http://elitedaily.com/life/staying-settling-need-move-5-times-life/751829/.

The article was posted by a friend on Facebook, and I don’t really agree with the premise that you “need” to move.  In fact, I don’t like moving.  I haven’t enjoyed this very normal but jarring part of our transient modern lifestyle that requires us to start all over…and do it again. And again. And again.  But the moves the article describes fit with my experiences in an uncanny way.  It proposes that you should move 5 times for 5 specific reasons.  I will list their proposed moves and what they correspond to in my life.

  1. To Get Away From What You Know: My first move was to college, but that was so much of what I already knew that I don’t count it.  I knew at least 1/4 of the girls on my floor before I arrived at college.  One of my lifelong best friends was randomly assigned as my suite mate.  Another of our high school classmates was across the hall.  It was an honors floor, which meant it was where more of the girls that I had met along the way through Governor’s School and extracurriculars might end up, but still…my first “real” move was to leave University of Tennessee for a year through a student exchange program.  I studied for my entire sophomore year at the University of Minnesota.  I knew 4 people there.  The first semester was a huge change: I had to learn to function on my own, away from all the comforts of having a posse around me at all times and an AOL instant messenger list of people to ask if they’d gone to the dining hall to eat yet.  I had to eat alone.  I had to grocery shop alone, something I realized I had never done.  Never.  I had a hard time doing anything productive when my roommate wasn’t there to motivate me.  It was a good, growing, necessary year.
  2. To Find New Experiences: Again, I will skip over returning to UT and then returning to my hometown for work for a few years.  I learned through those moves, but they were so familiar.  My move that helped me find new experiences was my move to California.  I went to “figure things out” with T as he was in graduate school there.  We broke up less than a year after my move, and I decided to stay.   I had a great living situation, a church I loved with my whole heart, and a job I was enjoying.  I learned to enjoy wine.  I soaked up the friendships with a diversity of smart people doing interesting things.  I traveled a lot.
  3. To Chase Love: I left California for Texas to marry T.  We had started dating again just as he took a post-doctoral position in Houston.  I was not looking forward to life in Texas (besides the whole being married part), but I enjoyed Houston much more than expected.  And I got a baby and lots of Chick-Fil-A to boot.
  4. To Escape That Love: My love affair with Chick-Fil-A.  It had to end at some point, so we moved to the Bahamas.  No Chick-Fil-A in sight.
  5. To Begin All Over Again: We anticipate our next move as one that will allow us to settle down for a longer period and to pick a place to raise our children.  When we came here, we thought we’d stay 3-5 years.  Now that a year plus has passed, three years seems pretty short.  We’ll likely be here for the full five years, but where will we go next?  Who knows?  (But I can guess that Chick-Fil-A will be close at hand if I get a say in it.)
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4 thoughts on “My Five Moves

  1. I spent the first five years of my life moving every few months. Then it began to average out to every couple of years for the following twenty years. No, not military. I don’t know if it happens as much now (thanks to how easily connected we are as a planet) but as I grew through life I noticed a difference between me and other people who had traveled as a children and those who stayed in one place all their lives.

    While I was never able to put a name on it, I did come to value that elusive quality in myself. I don’t see it as much any more, but am not sure if that is because of how the world has changed or just because I have, ahem…..aged.

    • I agree that there are great benefits to being flexible enough to adapt to each new place. Interesting idea–I wonder if the trend of mobility will decrease now that tele-commuting and the internet connect us well? Thanks for your thoughts.

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