Monday, January 13, 2014

On the Move

Something I think people often underestimate about moving is how exhausting it is. Sure, it's exciting and new opportunities abound everywhere, but it also can be really tiring. This isn't to say it's impossible, should be avoided, or doesn't have its benefits, but rather to reach out to everyone else I know who's in this transition (or wants to be).

While I'm certainly not an expert on moving (see: Third Culture Kids, military brats), I did manage to have four addresses last year and have spent a whopping four days at my newest one in Seattle. Through this I've learned a lot about myself, who I thought I was vs. who I am, and how to cope with transition in healthy ways for me, including:

1. I don't really like moving.

Nope. I like having my possessions organized, room clean, and having each item in its correct space. I blame my enjoyment of interior design, but seriously, moving drives me a little bonkers. I was essentially living out of suitcases from early August until yesterday and did not anticipate how a dresser would help me feel more stable. I look at it this way, I'm a very aesthetically-driven (-minded?) person, and having my immediate environment in order allows me to have a stable physical space to operate out of.

It also just looks better, let's be honest, I like when things look good.

2. Moving isn't the only way to create excitement in my life.

While I've been moving away from overly rigid "black-and-white" thinking, I naturally go that direction since I tend to be a bit more of an "all or nothing" person. I actually enjoy that intensity, but I'm seeing how it can get me into situations where more nuances, more gray, is called for. I think of myself as an adventurous person and truly love exploring, and I'm seeing more clearly that a) my definition of what adventurous and exploratory needs to expand, b) it doesn't have to be you either settle down forever or keep moving, and c) there's something called traveling.

I don't know what the next few months, let along years, will hold, but I am slowly but surely quickly reaching a point where I don't want to move around constantly. There's something fabulous about being in a place where people know you and you know people. That takes time.

3. Everyone deals with moving differently.

Going with my tendency to explore my environment, I deal with moving by exploring my surroundings. Take a walk through the new neighborhood? Sure! Find a library where you can sit in the Quiet Room for multiple hours and shoot death glares at people who disturb the peace? Doing that right now! Find the grocery store(s)? Yes!

Everyone is different and copes with transition differently, but moving has made it clear to me that I find it important to understand where I am, and that part of how I understand a place is by using my senses. As someone who tends to rely heavily on her intuition, relying on a sensory experience is kind of invigorating.

4. Moving is difficult.

Now this isn't to say it's bad, I already wrote that once in here, but it is difficult, even when desired. You leave behind your family, friends, a life you know, and venture into a situation (or situations) where everything is new and unknown. It gets pretty overwhelming at times, but it gets better. Slowly but surely a place will be more comfortable, especially as you find places to be and meet people, but initially it's a huge jolt.

Tip: Saving up money to cover living expenses for several months makes it a LOT less stressful. I'm very thankful for the money I have saved because it allows me more breathing space and is one less thing on my mind. This isn't to say I'm spending money freely, but I space.

Here's a train just chillin' in the road. I made a U-turn out of impatience, drove in a big circle, and then cursed at the Seattle roads that I don't understand.

Space Needle with the skyline in the background.

I am being driven batty by the clouds (and massive amounts of change don't help), but there's no better feeling than when the sun peeks out. Also, Puget Sound is gorgeous.

I'm happy to not be living out of suitcases for the first time since August! Best $20 purchase yet on Craigslist.