This winter a dear friend celebrated her umpteenth annual ski trip with friends and family who have lived within a 10 mile radius of her for most of her 40 year life. I went through stability envy.
My life has been mobile without the excuse of a military family. Infancy through grade school I lived in one house -- except for the first month of my life, which I mostly slept through. I attended junior high and high school from two homes, and then the bouncing began. Years later, when mom crossed out yet another page of my addresses in her gold book, she assembled an address journal for me which I treasure and continue to keep current. Last week I counted... 38 addresses. Thirty eight homes I have lived in over my 50 years. 504 West Mead for most of the first 12 years. Big Valley Rd, my first home purchase, for nearly nine. Four or five house-sits. Six homes in the four years after college in the San Francisco Bay Area. Dots all over the greater Seattle area map since my return. Thousands of memories from different perspectives. Roommates, living alone, with family, lovers, a husband, cats, dogs, birds, a salamander, a child. Life has been rich and full and often changing. So many moves. Packing, unpacking, arranging, organizing, new adventures to look forward to, new people to meet. And goodbyes as well. Most times the leaving has been been gentle, a few times dramatic. With the exception of my adolescent move, all have been welcome.
In less than two weeks I will be embarking on the biggest move of my life. Not only to the opposite coast, but also across an international border, in with the love of my life, to a place I cannot legally work. The culture, the weather, all brand new. It feels completely right to be paring down belongings, following my heart, driving almost 3000 miles across the country in winter with my partner into a new world, considering and creating the next chapter. Just as when I was California bound, I know Seattle holds a magnet we will return to. So again, and already I see yet another transition in the future.
Some it seems, are meant to stay put. My skiing girlfriend has grand adventures from one solid base. Old friends who married their high school sweethearts remain in our hometown, celebrate their 30 year anniversary and the births of their grandbabies. While I love my somewhat nomadic life and who I've become along the way, there are moments when I wish for a more anchored existence. We shall see what the next episode brings .....