Early this morning the movers pulled up and I started the process of yet another pack out. Although it’s great to have people come and pack all your things for you, one really must start the process of purging and organizing weeks before the actual packing of boxes begins. It’s a long and tedious process and yet, I always seem to come back for more.
As I watched the men wrapping and stuffing and taping I got to thinking about how many moves I’ve actually had since I started working. When I calculated it, I figured out that this is my 7th move in the past 14 years.
I’ve gone from Colorado to Southern California, to Northern California, to DC, to Athens, to Virginia (the first time), to Delhi, and now back to Virginia again.
I strongly dislike the process of moving-every aspect of it. But what I struggle with most of all is the feeling of being unsettled in my new home. For this reason I work very hard at settling into every new place and making it home as quickly as possible. When I arrive somewhere new I decorate my place immediately- pictures on the walls, carpets on the floor, invites out for dinner parties, and no boxes in sight.
But despite how much I dislike the process itself, the reality is that like so many of my friends who live similar lifestyles, I am a gypsy at heart and after two to three years in one place I’m wondering what is next.
I know that there are many people in my life who cannot relate to my inability to plant roots in any one place. Someone recently told me that if I meet the right person, I won’t want to go anywhere and I’ll want to stay in one place for the rest of my life. But to that I say, I hope that when I do meet the right person, he shares my own wanderlust and sense of adventure and never tires of packing and unpacking over and over again.
But how can I make the people in my life who haven’t moved around understand that moving to a new place and starting over seems to ground me more than feeling stagnant in any one place for too long? I love my family and my friends, but there is something inside of me that longs for something new and exciting -something that is different from the norm of society’s expectation of marriage, house and kids. Don’t get me wrong- I deeply admire those people in my life who have taken this path-but it’s not necessarily the path for me.
Yes, the process of moving is difficult and I dread every minute of packing and unpacking-but somewhere along the way, the pain and frustration associated with picking up and starting over is forgotten, and I find myself signing up for the next new place. It’s not always easy, and sometimes it’s just not a good fit, but in the right circumstances, this life I’ve chosen is incredibly fulfilling.
Even now, as I leave my assignment here in Delhi earlier than anticipated, excited about the new opportunity that awaits me in DC, I can’t help but wonder, what will come next?