imageWhy is it, we can’t be satisfied with what we have? What’s so fantastic about bigger, better, newer? It becomes a perpetual search, as the new place / situation / thing seldom only holds that new shine for so long, and once again we’re left antsy, itching for the next big change. One change replaces another, and once again we search for those greener pastures in our periphery. Sometimes unaware of our desire for change, but knowing deep down, that we won’t be happy here forever. It’s just a matter of time.

Is it common with all of man kind, or are there specific personality types that this desire affects more? I know people who have been at the same job for years, and have no desire to change. No itchy feet, no greener pastures. I look at those people with amazement. Is that really possible? Really? No inkling for a change? No desire to jump into something entirely new, parachutes be damned? Those kind of changes excite me. The new possibility of it all. Wiping the slate clean and getting a fresh start. Leaving behind all the baggage from the past.

As crazy as it may seem, I love moving. Ok, I’m not crazy about the packing and physical labor involved in the actual move itself, but the possibilities that come with a new start. Clean. Fresh. The purging that comes with packing, the freedom of ridding yourself of things that aren’t essential. Annual spring cleaning is a small dose of this, but it doesn’t compare to the thrill of being in a completely new space, town, environment, and challenging yourself to make it work.

I didn’t discover this about myself until I moved away for college. I moved a lot during these years (I’ll keep a count for you as we go). I sublet my first room, only staying the six months allotted (move #1). Then I moved to a new apartment, new roommates, new room (#2). Loved it. I was ready for a change (this was fueled by the fact that I couldn’t stand one of my first three roommates – and I have confirmation that this conflict wasn’t all me, I’m still good friends with another roommate from the first place, and she had the same relationship with the other girl). Anyway, in a new apartment, and within six months, I was moving again. Temporarily this time, as I had a summer internship in the bay area. So I packed everything up in my hatchback, leaving behind only the big furniture (#3).

Three months later, internship complete, I was back at my apartment (#4). A larger room had opened up and I jumped at the chance to take it. I moved the big stuff over and then started unpacking my other possessions (still counting this as part of #4).

At this point, I had moving pretty well dialed in. Most of what I owned fit in to easy to move storage boxes and drawers; clothes were paired down to essentials, which were then bagged up in large black garbage bags (hangers rubber banded and sticking out of the top of the bag made moving clothes from a closet incredibly easy). Moving was a piece of cake.

I stayed in the same apartment for the duration of college, moving again after graduation a short six months later (I had transferred in with an obscene number of units from a junior college and finished my college program a quarter early). I moved back home for a few months while I waited for my “real” job to start in the fall (#5). During the time that I was staying at my parents house, they ALSO moved (#6). So I spent two months with them at their old house and three at their new place before it was time to head back to the bay area to start my real, grown up job.

I found a place in the bay and moved in with a college friend (#7). I LOVED this apartment. Third story, fantastic layout, great neighbors… it was also $1,400 a month. For a two bedroom apartment. Oh, I didn’t mention the exorbitant rental rates? Yes, I was living in the bay area when it was still pretentious and over priced… and at the tail end of the bubble. So, when my roommate had a tough time finding a job, we got a little worried. Two months later, when she was still unemployed, we knew something had to give. We agreed to dessert our fabulous apartment and part ways. I moved in to a spare room at a friends house for a few months as a temporary holding ground (#8).

Twenty seven months, eight moves. Given up on me yet? Just hang in there… it slows down after this.

I stayed at my friends place for about five months, then found a great apartment closer to work (#9). Here’s where I stayed put for a bit. I was in this apartment for over a year before deciding that I wanted to be closer to family, and another move was in order. I got a transfer at work, bought a place, packed my stuff up in a big moving truck and traveled the ninety miles to my new abode (#10).

This home was my stomping ground for a while, although I didn’t see much of it because of my work travel demands. During this time, I met Ben, he bought his own place and I made the transition over (#11). And here I am. Six years later.

Thanks to the condition of the real estate market and our current financial situation, we’re here for a while. It’s an alright thing, though. We like it here. Our house is nice and suits us well. I get my fill of change and mixing things up by decluttering and making improvements periodically. It doesn’t stop me from fantasizing about picking up and moving to Oregon, seeking out a simpler life. The appeal of a slower pace, a smaller town, and, as naive as this probably is, some place safer to raise a kid. Somewhere with lower crime rates, fewer gangs, less drugs in schools. Yes, I know the influences will still be there. I know that coming up real soon, we have some tough years of child rearing. We can’t protect our baby all the time. Influences. Things beyond our control. Friends we don’t like. Situations that scare us. Yup, all that stuff.

Maybe a different environment would make things easier. Or, maybe not. I’m guessing we’ll make due with wherever we are and trust that our offspring will use their head and make the best choices they can. I’ve got a while before I have to worry about this stuff too much. So, for today, I’ll just enjoy being where I am.

And on that note, I bid you adieu.


4 Responses to “satisfied”

  1. 1 cynthia January 5, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    traffic in OR blows, especially around the area Ben would work if he was still with his employer. also, it rains all the time, but maybe you like that. why can’t you just be satisfied?!! ;)

  2. 3 ingrid parmeter January 7, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    I can’t comment about moving to Oregon because I am sooooo biased! (Oregon is the best! The rain is just there to keep everyone from moving here!)
    But, addressing the concerns about raising a kid, read “Free Range Kids” by Lenore Skenazy. Claire is a little young for you to worry about some of these issues, but the book is hilarious and full of reflections about parenting and our feelings of safety. I felt like it changed my life…. truly. It was profoundly comforting. For example, did you know that YOU grew up in the most dangerous time (crime wise) to be a kid? Interesting, huh? I’m glad you made it out of those 80’s and early 90’s!

    • 4 suzyness January 7, 2012 at 2:20 PM

      Ha! I also grew up in one of the worst crime cities in the nation! I think it’s actually ranked #1 now. Knowing that, though, and knowing what I was exposed to as a kid, versus what Ben was exposed to, just makes me more aware and makes me want to be cognizant of the impact a “big city” can have on a kid. I’ll check out the book you mentioned… I’m a planner, so I don’t mind being prepared for issues far before having to deal with them. :)

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Mom to "C", wife to Ben. I'm a part-time blogger, cook, organizer, seamstress, house cleaner, taxi, nurse (the mom kind), accountant... I could go on, but really... it's all in the blog. Read away!

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