I’m about to leave Ohio for the vast Southwest. Prepping for this move has given me a lot of time and situations to think about moving, goodbyes, and see you laters.
I seem to move around a lot, at least compared to others my age who are “settling down.” But, I don’t move around as much as one of those wandering men (they’re usually men, aren’t they?) that are romanticized and idealized through books, music, and art. I don’t move enough to be wayward. But I also don’t stick around long enough to live in a house or apartment for more than a year. If college hadn’t rooted me in one place for four years, I would’ve busted out of that town as well (and I did, for at least a semester abroad).
When I was growing up, my dad moved about every two years, usually for a new job. He jumped from South Dakota to Utah to Minnesota to Kentucky to Connecticut to California to Nevada to Ohio, all within 22 years. But see, after a certain point, I don’t think my dad needed to move for a new job at all. I think he got a little bit antsy after about two years in place. So when a new job offer would come up, he took it as a great chance to try something new. (As he reads my blog more than most other people, perhaps he’ll correct me on this.) As I spent my first 18 years being rooted in South Dakota, I grew up greatly idealizing and envying my dad’s semi-waywardness.
The thing is though: moving is hard. Passing through a place and moving on is kind of nice–you feel mysterious and romantic. I know, I’ve done that too. But I seem to always stay in places long enough to recognize the smell of a park in different seasons, to be able to internally navigate around the streets, to have memories attached to people I never thought I’d get to know. And then I leave.
I like moving around. I like feeling just a little unsettled and uprooted. And I love seeing different places and meeting new people. Still though–saying goodbye to a place and its people, to a sort of existence you created for yourself–that can be really hard.
I’m excited for Santa Fe. I’m not sure if this will be the place that keeps me for more than two years, or if any place will do that for now, but I’m excited to create something new again.