Every two years or so, I tend to pack up all my belongings and leave a place I've grown to love. It's a place where the secrets to opening cabinets and locking doors have all been told to me, but their tricks still leave me stumped from time to time. It's a place that has gathered a myriad of memories but still could hold many more. Every time I move, I feel like I'm doing so prematurely. Like there is something still waiting to happen within these walls and now I've only got 48 hours left to figure out what that something is. I have to remind myself that that something will happen to me, and not to the apartment I'm once again moving from.
The longest I've lived in any one place since I was 18 was my first apartment in Minneapolis and it was for a full two years. I documented the day I got keys to the place. I'm glad I did. I imagined what was then unknown to me happening there over the next year. I don't know what I thought would happen, but I'm certain whatever it was didn't actually come to fruition. It never does.
Maybe that's why I move so much. I'm a fan of new beginnings and seem to seek them out once every few years. Moving so much has kept my earthly belongings to a minimum. I for some reason need to shed my skin every once in awhile and make a fresh start. I wish I wasn't this way. There is a part of me that is jealous of settled friends who know what to expect and are satisfied with where they are. I wish I could just relax and resist the urge to pack up and try something new. Mainly because this packing up thing breaks my heart every time. The places we live are alive with us and leaving them is like leaving a comfortable and satisfying relationship for someone you're not quite sure you'll be happy with, but who you have to go for because otherwise you'll never know.
You'll just never know.
So that's why I keep moving. Because I'll never know what it's like if I don't. I'll only know where I am. Granted, the last time I moved was completely out of necessity and nowhere near my personal desire to do so. But now that I think of it, it usually is anyway. I love this apartment more than most of the places I've lived. It's got character, it's a great location, a decent price, and my landlord is wonderful. It helped me get over one of the most difficult break ups I've ever gone through and then served as an abode where I foolishly yet necessarily pined after an Englishman. The solitude here has helped me, has hurt me, and has let me grow. And while I feel like I could stay for another few years, I know I can't. It's time to go try something new. It's time to go after what I really want for once and since I was cursed with the desire for a completely un-lucrative career, I have to downsize in the residence department. I'm going to have roommates who I'm not dating for the first time in 7 years. I'm going to have to learn how to share a bathroom and a kitchen. I'm going to have to figure out how to split bills and what food is mine. Change is scary, but change is good.
I just have to remember that one day it will be ok to settle. Because even when you settle, you still can't accurately imagine what is going to happen to you in the next year. It could be anything. And even if it is the scariest thing in the world, there is another side to come out on.
I remember when I graduated high school, I had a thought that I've managed to keep with me since: "A year from now, who knows the people I'll know". I couldn't even fathom the thought of what turned out to be the most familiar faces in my life; one who is my soon-to-be roommate. It was petrifying and wonderful all at the same time.
A year ago I was leaving a long-running overseas relationship for someone I wasn't quite sure I'd be happy with, but who I went for because otherwise I would have never known. Well now I know. He wasn't for me. But a year ago, I also wasn't in this band. I also wasn't going on tour. I also wasn't going to take a leap of faith and leave this apartment I love so very much as a sacrifice so I could pursue something I've loved my entire life.
Change is good.