Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday Five: Makin' a Move

This week's Friday Five is about making a move. I don't think I've ever done a Friday Five. The topic this week though really grabbed my attention, and I haven't had much blogging mojo lately anyway. So here goes....

1.How many times have you moved? When was the last time?
As a kid, I lived in four homes in the same small town of 15,000, so while I had the experience of packing up and moving, I never experienced leaving behind friends and family until I went to college. My life since then has been different. I've had six major moves in the 22 years since I graduated from college, and several smaller moves within the towns I've lived in each of those six locations. My last move was 18 months ago, to where I live now. I hope to stay here for a good long while. No place has felt more like home than this. But, I have been here long enough to become reacquainted with some of my less than stellar personal qualities that have often led to my decisions to move in the past. I was full of adventure and wanderlust in my early adulthood, an independent spirit, afraid of bothering people, and of getting too close. I still love to travel, but I also love to come home, to a familiar place where I have a routine and where there are people who know me, but love me anyway.

2. What do you love and hate about moving?
Each of my moves have been to places where either work/ministry or school offered a chance to learn and explore things that were new and exotic to me. I love that about moving, but I hate the inevitable loneliness of being in a new place. I don't make friends easily, so a new place means a lot of work to get to know people and build relationships that are supportive. I also hate packing and unpacking!!

3. Do you do it yourself or hire movers?
I've always done my own moving, with little help even from friends - because I hate bothering people. This last move, however, my new employer paid my moving expenses. I still did all of the packing, though. I just didn't have to carry the boxes or furniture up the two flights of stairs to my apartment. In 100+ weather.

4. Advice for surviving and thriving during a move?
This last move forced me to do things differently and as a result, my advice is very different than it would have been two years ago. I arrived in my new town two weeks ahead of the moving truck, so I didn't have boxes to unpack for awhile. In the absence of stuff, I got out to explore my new surroundings everyday and was more intentional about going to events and places where I could meet people. I think that approach really helped me settle in to the new place more quickly. Of course, I still have only one picture on the walls, and there are boxes that have yet to be unpacked, an odd little thing left over from living with the ex who never made room for me and my things in her house, leaving me to store my things in a shed behind her house for the five+ years I lived with her. It was a ridiculous thing to put up with and I regret that I didn't care more for myself more than that, but it did shift my relationship to things.

So, I say, use a move to simplify your life and get down to just the basics, and be intentional about making relationships and connection to the landscape of the new place a higher priority.

5. Are you in the middle of any inner moves, if not outer ones?
I'm learning to be more tolerant of discomfort in my life, an inner move that is needed, but not especially easy, and contemplating a suggestion that I could take more risk in relationships as an invitation to an inner move that is both terrifying and exciting.

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