The Moving Addiction
Just as the title of this blog suggests, I have lived on 19 streets. My parents moved a lot when I was growing up. I lived in three states and five houses by the time I was in middle school. To their credit, they have only moved twice more since then.
But the constant change was somehow deep-rooted in me. Those early, formative years were spent shifting my bedroom and belongings, and finding new classmates and friends. I may not be able to blame my transient nature entirely on my frequent moves, however. I was rearranging furniture in my own bedroom as young as 11 and 12 years old. I had an instinctual craving for change.
Since college, Zach and I moved ten times. There was the first condo Zach bought during college. Then, a nice three-bedroom house in Arizona. We moved to New York. Our naiveté led us to a very nice apartment that was too pricey. We got smarter and literally dragged our things down the snowy streets of Manhattan to a more appropriate one-bedroom. One year later, we were in a two-bedroom apartment in LA. Fast forward to a house in West LA, then an older house on a wonderful block, and then to a bigger house on a busy street. Twins and a job brought us to San Diego in a house that fed into an amazing school but a lackluster neighborhood. Landing on today, a decent rental house in Encinitas.
Why did we make these moves? Each was for different reasons. Sometimes correcting a previous wrong. Sometimes we did it because we wanted to be living in something we "thought" we should be in. Sometimes, life's circumstances forced the move.
Here's the wild part: I never stop looking. Although I now recognize that this frequency of moves borders on obsessive (crazy?), and moving with four kids is some kind of self-torture, I still have the itch to look around and see what's out there.
An article in The New York Times delves into the "why" a bit, describing a few reasons that feel very familiar: "Peripatetic upbringing or not, the chronic urge to move often seems less a permanent lifestyle choice than an outgrowth of a particular phase of life, during which a person either feels too settled (romantically, professionally or both) or is preoccupied with forging a new identity. "
Hmm. Could this be a result of getting married at barely 22 years old and wanting to ensure we were not seen as "stodgy" or "boring"? Or maybe it's the love of going through everything and throwing stuff out? Or perhaps, most accurately, "If it's constantly in process, you're never being judged for the finished product," as a clinical psychologist described it in The New York Times.
I have grandiose dreams of white picket fences, shutters, rolling grassy yards and dreamy interiors. I tell myself that I won't settle until I find "the one." But that search is now too costly. It's hard on the kids, and me too.
So, this is me putting my stake in the ground. I would like to stay put here on my 19th street until I find, buy and move to the 20th street where I will live for a nice, long time. Can you help keep me on task?