I just left one day and never went back. I had already dropped out of my first attempt at college, and moving out seemed the next logical choice. I packed some clothes, locked the door behind me, dropped my key in the mailbox, and drove away. A few weeks later I talked to my parents and let them know I was for real, and not coming back. They had already talked to Roommate. He was more likely to respond, and they knew it.
It was a familiar argument with the familiar ending: “As long as you live under our roof, you live under our rules.” So I got my own roof, and no rules. Eighteen years later…I just completed my 16th move. My fifth to a new state. This one is different, though. I’ve moved to unfamiliar cities in unfamiliar states, to familiar cities in familiar states. This was just another move to a new city in a new state for new opportunities. Nothing I haven’t done before.
Except this time instead of running from something I was running to something.
As soon as my position offered a work-from-home option, I turned in my notice of non-renewal—I’m a habitual renter and refuse to own a home, for good reason—and started searching for my next address. I had two months. I found it in the land of perpetual summer, 35 miles from the ocean. Boxes and bubble wrap took over. It’s nothing I haven’t done before.
I left an annoying daily commute through horrific traffic and settled in a place with wide sidewalks and everything I need within walking distance. In the time I’ve lived here I’ve used my car three times, and only because it was raining. I’ve since bought a large umbrella and cute galoshes, so pish to the rain. My FitBit is thrilled with me.
But I haven’t been to the ocean yet.
After every other move I’ve settled in quickly. Figured out my way around, made new friends, and adopted my new neighborhood and new neighbors with zeal. I had a new job, new coworkers, and a new commute. But this time I have the same job, same coworkers, and no commute. That difference has made a difference.
I’m not old. I’m not unfriendly. I’m not unattractive. But something about living in a bubble, an all-inclusive neighborhood, has me stuck inside my house, looking out the window, viewing the outside world from the inside. This is not like me at all. I went out one night. Once. Everyone knew everyone. I met a million people in a matter of hours. Good people. Smart people.
So what’s the problem?
I’m a mover. I move. I don’t sit still well. I travel. I go places and see things and do things. Most of it I do on my own. But this time, this time something is different. And I’m not sure what.