Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The thing about moving. . .

I distinctly remember moving about 3 times in my life (although I have moved a lot more than that.) One of the first moves I remember was when I was 6 six years old; our family moved from our little two bedroom house in town into what felt like a mansion of a house (4 bedrooms) in the country. We had a large yard with a wood swing-set, a deck, and more outdoor space than we knew what to do with.  Not only did our new house have a dish-washer, but it also had a family room and two bathrooms. I felt like royalty living in our new house.

My parents were pretty on top of things, so it took our family about one day to get moved in and boxes put away. I had a new room; the house and yard were ours to explore, and yet one of the first feelings I remember having was that of boredom. I remember sitting in the living room looking at my older brother with blank stares on our faces. "Now what?" There were so many things to explore, and yet I missed the familiar routines from the old house. I knew how to pattern my day in the old space. I knew where my favorite corners of the house were; I knew where I liked to play with my toys. I knew how to find things in the kitchen. And now, with so much newness, I felt completely bored.

The other time I remember feeling this way was almost exactly four years ago when I moved from a house with family friends into a two bedroom apartment with a girl I hardly knew (who has since become one of my best friends.)  I was so looking forward to having my own space, my own room. It didn't take me very long to get my few possessions unpacked (the apartment included all the furniture I needed.) And although I had so been anticipating this quiet space of my own, I remember feeling bored and lonely on the very first night. "What am I going to do with my time every single night?" I remember thinking.

It's now night three in our newly refurnished, two-bedroom apartment, and guess what?  I don't know how to function in the new space, and dare I say I feel bored. Sure, there is lots to do; boxes to unpack, things to look for, addresses to update, and yet, I can barely get anything accomplished. Yesterday I thought the feeling was exhaustion. Today, I think the feeling is very similar to how I felt when I was a 6 year old girl - "now what?" I'm not sure where my favorite corners are; I'm scared to tackle cooking.  Whenever I go to complete some task, I discover I can't find something and get side-tracked before giving up. My world feels a bit discombobulated, and all I want to do is sit and watch the evening news. But our cable is not working yet.  I think about reading my favorite book or journalling, but I can't find either.

One of the authors that I studied in grad school summed up the way I have been feeling about moving quite well:

“And the danger is that in this move toward new horizons and far directions, that I may lose what I have now, and not find anything except loneliness.”  - Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 

Granted, we are expecting to find better things than loneliness in our move, but there are inevitably a few twists and turns waiting for us as we get settled in and adjust to not only a new place, but a new life stage as well.

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