Moving On Without Moving On

With the new job coming up, it is finally time for me to make the move to Michigan.  It’s obviously been on the horizon for a while, but it’s still very odd to say I’m moving again.  If you ignore all of the moves back and forth for college, this will be move number 12 for me.  I’ve told Geoff I’m never doing it again, so he’d better be sure about us staying put before I drag myself out there.

I am constantly jealous of the people who have never really moved.  The idea of being able to both start and end school with the same group of people is completely foreign to me.  There were many times I didn’t even start and end the school year with the same people, much less whole stretches like elementary or middle school.

My oldest friend I met the very end of my freshman year of high school, just over 10 years ago.  I don’t have friends from childhood.  I can’t answer the question “where did you grow up?”  I don’t recount stories by using my age, I go by what state we lived in.  I got so used to the idea of getting up and moving that I stopped making friends when we went somewhere new, believing it was pointless since I’d have to give them up shortly anyway.  We moved so much that for a long time I thought you moved when your closets were full and your carpet was dirty.

It.  Sucked.

Aw man, we’ve only been here 10 minutes!

There was so much changing all the time that I would desperately hang onto anything constant to give myself a sense of stability.  It’s part of the reason I’m such a pack-rat and have an emotional attachment to random things in the house.  The more familiar things I can see around me, the less jarring getting up and going somewhere else is.  I’m talking everything from my favorite bed sheets from middle school to a cheap jewelry box.  I still have a lot of these things, because it became so ingrained in me that I can’t move past it.

It sounds worse than it is; it’s not like I’m going to end up on an episode of Hoarders.  At least I don’t think so…

But it’s not just an emotional issue.  It’s physically a pain in the rear to be constantly packing, unpacking, and repacking your entire life into neat little boxes.

Life doesn’t fit into neat little boxes.

So here I am trying to do it again.  This time it’s different because it’s my choice (sort of), and I’m going to a place where I have friends.  I’m not starting over like every other move was.  But my brain doesn’t seem to get that.  It is still going through the same panic it has every other time.  Maybe it’s because this time I’m leaving my family behind.  I don’t know.

I’ve been trying to go through all of my things to sort out what needs to move, what can be donated, and what should be thrown out.  Because this last move happened when I was just a few days out from starting my second year of college, things sort of just got thrown into any space I could find, and there they have stayed since.  I always intended to go through it, but other things got in the way.  Rather than blindly throwing things into boxes and trying to deal with it later (and inevitably not), I decided this was a logical time to go through it all.  I had hoped that I would easily be able to give up the things I used to find comfort in through the moves, but it seems it is not so easy.

I keep coming across pieces of my childhood (and even some pieces of my early adulthood) that should go straight into a donation or trash pile, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.  For some reason, all these little knicknacks hold something special.  I remember who I got it from or where I got it, why I got it, what was going on in my life.  They all elicit memories, and as silly as they may be I am still too stuck on the idea of picking up and leaving home again to get rid of them.

Poor Geoff, right?

My room is essentially a war zone right now.  Drawers and various closet spaces have been emptied in an attempt to sort through the chaos.  Some progress has been made, though it doesn’t look like it.  3 trash bags have gone out, as well as 2 donation bags, but you wouldn’t know that by seeing what’s left.  I started the process well before the job offer, with the thought that the more I did now the better, but it wasn’t a pressing issue.

This isn’t actually my room. This is a picture from Google to get the point across. I’m much to embarrassed to actually show you mine.

My parents are now moving as well (a post for another time), so there is no “come back and work on it more later” anymore.  I need to do it all, and I need to do it pretty much now.  I officially have a start date of October 1st at my new job, so I’ll be moving September 27th-ish.  Considering I just got the MIT project done and already have a weekend dedicated to a wedding, I’m running out of time fast.

Maybe thinking that I had grown past the moving induced attachment to silly things was too ambitious.

I want to hear from both sides of the fence.  Have you ever moved?  Do you want to any time in the future?  Is it hard for you?  Share your thoughts!

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Posted on September 14, 2012, in Growing Up, Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I think I understand both sides of the story. I remember packing for college and being mad (I am so confused about this feeling now) about NOT moving in my childhood because I honestly had no idea what to pack. I felt like if I had had that experience, then I would have a better idea of what I would need. As it was, I just threw stuff in boxes and then had to have my parents send me the stuff I actually needed later. :-/

    Now, after moving a lot more, I totally understand your attachment to small trinkets and your complete dread of moving (I am already dreading moving from here even though we have at least a year left). I have some sheets and stuffed animals and an alarm clock (that is from high school and falling apart) that have moved everywhere with me – to college and back and then to all of my other states…

    I switched schools a lot within my hometown so even though we didn’t physically move, I had to learn to make new friends pretty frequently. That sucks that you didn’t always start and finish the same school year in the same place though. I hope you and Geoff find the perfect house so you never have to move again! 🙂

  2. I was lucky enough to only move a few times in my childhood and always within the same town. Even when my parents got divorced, my mom just moved literally five minutes down the road to our old house. I moved to NYC for undergrad, but that doesn’t really count since I still went home for breaks. After college, I moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn for a year, then moved to Korea to teach for a year. I came back to NC for law school, but I’m in a different area than my parents. My last move was within Chapel Hill to get an apartment with my fiance. It was a wonderful move since it was for a wonderful reason, but when you get down to it, actually moving always sucks.

    I have a habit of clinging to silly little trinkets too. I really meant to go through all of my stuff before I moved last time and finally get rid of some stuff, but I never got around to it, so now it’s all here. My fiance is the same way, so we have an apartment full of mementos and things we’ve just had forever. We’re planning on moving after I graduate from law school (and we have a fund started so we can hire people to move our stuff), and we keep saying we’re going to be more organized about it next time, but it’s probably not going to happen. Good luck with the move!

  3. Thanks for the comments and support girls! It’s actually making it easier to look at knowing I’m not the only one who does this 🙂

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