Today is moving day again (not out of the country this time, just about 5 miles), move #32 to be precise (pretty close at least). I know this because my little brother made me list out all of the places I have lived on a road trip we took once because he wanted to prove a point. “1, 2, 3…6… 16…25 … Yeah, o.k. so I move a lot, so what?” … “It’s just not right to move around so much Traci.” … “But why?” Interestingly enough, a question no one has ever been able to really answer.
This whole moving thing started when I first moved to California. When I used to go back home to visit my family/friends in New York (pre iPhone-age; back when we used pens and paper and the seriously archaic address book), the first thing they would say to me was “Oh my God Traci, I used up a whole page in my address book for you; there are at least 10 addresses in there”, shaking their head and laughing, ”How can you live like that?”. I mean this was THE FIRST thing people would say to me for years. My mom in her adorable Long Island accent … ”Oh Traci, why don’t you just stay in one place, why do you have to keep moving? I don’t even know where my baby lives half of the time … “Traci, you are a gypsy, you can’t just keep moving around like that”… “When people ask where my daughter lives I can’t even tell them.” (?).
Since everyone always had something to say about me moving all the time, for a while I would ask myself “why DO I move around so much? … is there something wrong with me?” (I actually had many serious conversations on this topic) and would make excuses to myself and others, such as crazy landlords (I had to drop off the rent once at my landlord’s house to find it was completely filled with teddy bears – scary), roommates that don’t know how to use vacuums (seriously), kleptomaniac roommates, etc … (I have become an expert on roommates and actually did a presentation on how to be a good roommate in college once). Yes, some of those things definitely came into play, but then after moving so many times in my life, it really comes down to this, the reason I move a lot is …(wait for it) … because I like to. However, a recent memory made me realize there may be another reason … it may actually be genetic.
When I lived in New Hampshire we used to go to Long Island to visit my grandparents every six months or so. Every time we would arrive, the house would be arranged differently (via my Grandmother’s vision). I remember there was this huge mural on the dining room wall (I am talking @ least 10 x 20) that she used to change all the time … beach scene, snow scene, mountain scene, then sometimes that wall just had wallpaper or paneling. The furniture was always different, and I remember once the kitchen actually changed places. One of my uncle’s is blind and he would get so frustrated because every time he would come to visit, he would get lost in the house and had to re-learn where everything was (it’s o.k. if you just laughed right there; my family, including my uncle, have). My Grandmother obviously wasn’t able to move physical locations all the time, but in her way, she created change within her own home … and very frequently. See, it may be a little bit genetic after all.
Either way, for what it’s worth, I have had the big house and all of “the things” … and I have lived in one place for more than a couple years … the truth is, change works for me, and having “very less” things works for me too. I kind of think of moving the same way I think of traveling … just seeing what’s out there.
Yes, someday I will find a place that I settle down in, but for now, I am going to keep living this way because it just works for me (for now at least) … and I hope you keep doing what you like, and what works for you too.
(Btw, “very less” = a common term used in India for “not a lot“)