I hinted in a previous post about our rather nomadic lifestyle. It sounds pretty ridiculous – 7 moves in 9 years. We never planned it that way. We got married right after graduating college, moved to Sunshiney State so I could go to grad school. We were going to live there for 2 years while I earned my masters. Then come back to get jobs and settle down.
8 years, 2 masters (one for me, one for the husband), 1 PhD (that’d be mine), and 2 babies later, we finally did move back to the region of the country we started from – the glorious Pacific Northwest. (seriously, you should visit sometime. It’s super gorgeous here)
It went like this: Move #1 – from PNW to 1 bedroom apartment in Sunshiney state. Met some people. They all owned houses in tiny bedroom community. Everyone was doing it, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. So we bought a house – Move #2. We lived in said house for roughly 2.5 years, when we foreclosed (read a bit more about that tale of woe here) and moved to a 2 bedroom apartment in an older, established neighborhood – Move #3. We lived there for 2 years, brought home baby number one (it’s a boy!), and then as rent continued to go up, up, up! We found it was cheaper to move to a 3 bedroom apartment just over a mile away (Move #4). We lived there 2 years, brought home baby #2 (it’s a girl!), until the insanity from our downstairs neighbors necessitated a move. (they were bitches. I am sure my 30 lbs son sounded obnoxious as he ran and bounced about. As children do. I am quite sure, actually, having lived below one such child this past year (but I never complained. No I did not!). But damn if he wasn’t in bed from 7:30pm until 7am. Give us a break you old hags!)
We were sick of the apartment scene, so were trying to find a rental house. Looked like we were priced out of that market when luck was on our side – a family friend needed renters for her house, which was just one mile away from my husband’s new school (he’d gone back to school and become a teacher in the 4 years we were in the apartments). So Move #5 was to a BEAUTIFUL house with awesome landlords in a FANTASTIC neighborhood. It was totally fantastic. Nothing is perfect, but it was about as close to as you could get.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, I’m still not quite sure), the very weekend we moved I found out I had a job interview with a university in the PNW. (I’m a tenure-track professor. The fancy kind, yo) It was my first interview, so I really didn’t think I had a chance. But, gosh if they didn’t want me for a campus visit. So we never fully unpacked in that house. We were waiting to see if I got the job (which, clearly, I did). So 6 months after moving into our nearly perfect rental house, Move #6 was to a 3-bedroom apartment in the PNW.
It was pretty miserable living there, I will not lie. The layout was atrocious – seriously, who makes the kitchen the major walkway from the living space to the bedroom area?!? It was much too small for us and my daughter’s room was half-filled floor to ceiling with boxes. But it was affordable. And since it was a bit cheaper than a rental house, we were able to save up and buy our current dream-ish house – Move #7.
Which brings us, finally, to the point of this post. And my explanation of what was up with that silly water drop picture at the beginning and the title “on the precipice”. I also considered “suspended.” You totally forgot already, didn’t you? Here it is again:
As you can imagine, 7 moves in 9 years has left a certain feeling of…chaotic uncertainty. NOTHING seems to stay the same for us for any meaningful length of time. My poor son who just started kindergarten is starting his 5th school this year, and he is only 5 years old. That’s a lot of change for such a young person. I’m sure it’s taken it’s toll. I know it’s taken it’s toll on me. I’m a classic Cancer Crab – HOME is important to me, and HOME has been a feeling we’ve lacked for many years now. Yeah, yeah, Home is Where the Heart Is and that is true to some extent. But moving this much changes a person. It changes how you view your world and things.
Sometimes in a good way – I may have hoarding tendencies by nature, but the constant moving has helped curb that little habit.
So here we are. On the precipice. At the beginning of something (we hope) truly new for us. To build a home and stay in it for several years. Every previous move has been with an eye down the road, KNOWING that there would be at least “one more” move. This time – we don’t have to move unless we choose to. We have stable jobs. We’re in the region we wanted to be. In a house of our choosing. No downstairs neighbors to heckle us. My kitchen is safely at one side of the house and NOT a passage way.
Do you know that feeling, when you’re driving your car and you take your foot off the accelerator? And you’re suspended – just for a moment. It’s subtle, but you feel that moment between going 60 mph and when you start to slow down?
That’s what I feel right now. We’re on the edge of something new. After 9 years of hurtling from one place to the next, we have landed. And I hope we stay a long, long time.