Toronto, Montreal, Atlanta, two houses in Holmdel, multiple homes (and lack of) on Amelia Island, two apartments in Knoxville, Tallahassee, Harlem, Knoxville again, Silver Spring, Chicago, and now Baltimore. I’ve moved more than a dozen times in my life (and I’m not even counting my summer abroad in Panama or the summer we spent back on the Lower East Side of Manhattan). Moving out and moving on has been a part of who I am, what makes me me.
I generally make friends quickly, but I don’t make best friends. I try to be a great friend to other people, but have a hard time accepting the same level of friendship from others. I don’t open up to people, I don’t like being vulnerable or admitting that I need help and can’t do everything all by myself. I’m a bit of a gypsy. And I sort of like that. There are the few friends that have stuck from every place, and while moving is always hard, because it turns out that most places are awesome, there was always a new adventure waiting in the next place.
There have been two moves that were different. The first was the move from New Jersey to Florida. I was halfway through my freshman year in high school. I had a boyfriend (and he was cute!). I was settled, I was comfortable, I was happy. I mean, I was 14, so I was plagued with all of the usual insecurities, melodrama, and self-doubt. The bombshell dropped—we were moving to Florida. It was devastating. We moved over Christmas break, and I spent New Year’s Eve alone in my bedroom, drinking two wine coolers (scandal!) and sobbing on the phone with my old friends who were all together at a party.
A life again later, I lived in Chicago. The timing brought together that perfect confluence of preschool kids, a wonderful city block, and stubbornness that being ‘city kids’ wouldn’t mean my kids didn’t spend as much time as possible playing outside. I met people. And over time, I made friends—the kind of friends who called me on my crap and who insisted on being there for me when I was certain I didn’t need it… but really did.
Moving away has been just awful. Aside from all of the regular craziness of moving, this is the first time we have transferred a kid from one school to another. We are also in a bit of a transient living situation right now—we are living in an apartment while we look for a house to buy. So we don’t feel settled, and it is hard to want to settle down when you know you’re probably, hopefully, going to be moving again within a year.
And so I am fifteen again, crying in my bedroom. I am filled with all of the hesitation of not wanting to call the people I miss because I’m afraid they’ll get annoyed, or think that I should just move on already. All of the insecurities and self-doubt are back. This time, at least, I got to bring my cute boyfriend and my fantastic kids.
I know that it will get easier. One day, I will love Baltimore, and it will feel like home. But for now, it is gut-wrenching. But I also feel so lucky that I have so many wonderful people in my life, and that my life in Chicago was so full of light and laughter and love that makes it hard to leave.