A Memoir of Moving

I was reading a  book called When Wanderers Cease to Roam.  As a wanderer, I wondered if I’d find some secret to staying put.  But it wasn’t that kind of book.  It was a woman’s month-by-month collection of watercolors and drawings and written memories of her life abroad and her life in the town where she finally chose to settle.

Anyway, this got me to thinking of all the times I’ve moved.  So here’s my life of the last ten or so years broken down by moves:

1 – College to Home.  May 1999.  There was really no other place to go and a million other places to go.  But home was easiest at that point.  I was one of only a few graduates of my program to have a job.  I had, at my mother’s suggestion, called a physical therapy practice where I had worked one summer as an aide, said I’d graduated, and asked if they needed help.  They were thrilled.  I didn’t move back into the room I’d vacated when I left for college.  As the oldest of five kids, that room was quickly taken.  By the time I moved back, two other siblings were off at school and so I got one of their rooms.  I quit the job after two months.  And eventually quit living there after a year.

2 – Home to Boston, MA.  July 2000. I moved to Boston to do a year of Americorps.  Or, more accurately, I wanted to do a year of volunteer work and wanted to move to Boston, so I found something that satisfied both of those wants.  This was one of the happiest years of my life.  I loved going to work each morning, came to like the tiny apartment I was given, loved that I could walk to JP Licks for ice cream in fifteen minutes, and learned that dating two men at the same time is entirely too much stress.  But that’s another story.

3 – Boston to Cambridge.  July 2001.  Americorps was over.  They offered to hire me, but I had done the job for a year, liked it, but saw no need to do it all over again.  So I moved to Cambridge with a childhood friend I reconnected with.  We lived in a round building with a spiral staircase up the center – at the top of which was the laundry machines.  Yes, our apartment was pie-shaped.  And if you stood just inside the front door, you could see the whole place: two bedrooms, bathroom, great room.  This was my favorite apartment.  I loved our kitchen island, around which we hosted Girls Night every Monday for quite some time.  That was also the island on which,  in April, I would find a note from my roommate saying that a guy I’d met on the subway had called.  I would date this guy for nearly three years.  And when I bought my piano, this was the first place it got moved to. Keep in mind that from this point forward, every move involved moving that piano.

4 – Cambridge to Somerville.  July 2003.  My roommate and I found another person we wanted to live with, so we moved to a three bedroom outside of Porter Square.  The third roommate got a cat, with whom I didn’t get along.  She and the cat moved out, a new roommate moved in (ah, the wonders of craigslist) but a year after I got to this place, I too moved out.

5 – Somerville to Bethesda, MD.  July 2004.  Yes, I left Boston the year the Red Sox won the World Series.  Oh was it hard to watch it from our basement TV in Maryland.  Don’t get me wrong – I was thrilled for them, but sad I wasn’t there.  Broken-hearted actually.  My heard would get broken again a few months later….I’d moved to Maryland because aforementioned subway guy got into grad school in DC.  My mother thought I’d be miserable if he was there and I was in MA, so I moved.  But did not move in with him.  Six months later, when we broke up, I would note that said guy had never actually asked me to move down there with him.  In fact, he wanted me to stay in Boston.  Something about how much I liked it there and how he didn’t want me to give up my life there for him.  Hindsight.  Hmph.  This was the only time I ever moved somewhere for a guy.

6 – Bethesda, MD to Somerville, MA.  July, 2005.  I convinced a dear college friend to leave the same apartment she’d lived in Brooklyn since we graduated to move back to Boston with me.  Exactly ten years earlier we wisely opted not to live together in college as our living styles and lifestyles were too different.  But as 28 year old “adults” we figured we could handle it.  We were right.  But as they say, you can’t go home.   Boston, as much as I’d loved it the first time around, just wasn’t the same the second time.

7 – Somerville, MA to Home.  July 2006.  Somehow I got it in my head that it was time to buy a house.  As a girl who doesn’t live by anyone’s timeline but my own, I only later realized what a silly idea this was.  I moved back in with mom and dad to save up for my down payment.  We started looking at houses and I did a fabulous job of finding a reason not to like any of them.  Mom would circle ads in the paper and want to go out house-hunting on Sunday afternoons.  I eventually took a job that had me working Sundays.  Then I decided that a girl who moved every year was probably not the best candidate for owning a home.  So I moved out.

8 – Home to Milton, NY.  Sept 2007.  I found the only other Red Sox fan in NY and moved in with her.  Gotta love craigslist.  But eventually she decided she wanted to move closer to her job and her family, so we parted ways.  And that job she moved for?  Well, she got laid off.  And now works closer to where we used to live.  Ironic.

9 – Milton to Staatsburg.  March 2009.  For the first time since move #2, I live by myself.  Overall, I like it.  I can’t really see living with a roommate again.  Husband, boyfriend, yes.  Roommate, no.  But never say never.

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