I’ve been doing some thinking. About places, and belonging to them. It’s not a new process for me; the last few years I’ve been searching for a place to call home, a place where I would feel like I belonged. That, when I settled into it, spoke to me and said, “Yep, this is it.” So far I haven’t had much luck. But maybe I’m looking for the wrong things.
My very wise friend Yvonne pointed out that I’m most likely searching for something within myself, something that a physical location can’t fill. And as always, she’s right. Not that this is a new concept – I’ve been aware of it for a while. But it’s easier to keep hopping from place to place, instead of sitting back and thinking about the hard stuff. Moving is a distraction. Packing, hauling, searching the want ads, finding a place, unpacking, nesting, buying the odds and ends that make a place comfortable. Learning where the stores are. Getting into a routine. But then one day you look around and the nesting is finished, and you now have to fill that new home with a life. And that’s when I panic, and starting looking for the next place to move to.
It’s sort of like falling in love: the falling part is fun and easy, it’s the staying in love part that takes work. And maybe that’s how it is for me, as I search for a place to fall in love with. After all, a place is just a place (to borrow from another wise friend, LH, who says weather is just weather). It’s houses and roads and landscape and people and cars and businesses. There’s nothing magic about a place, even though I do feel there are certain places that speak to me much more than others. Key West calls to me; Detroit does not. San Diego and St. Augustine lure me; Los Angeles and Miami do not.
My last move was grueling. Not only did the movers destroy or lose a LOT of my stuff, it was just exhausting. I finally understood why folks don’t move every year, why a move counts as one of the more stressful life events. The sheer magnitude of changing addresses and finding an apartment and utilities and cable and health insurance and car insurance and renters insurance and and and – like I said, grueling. And it convinced me even further that I don’t want to do it many more times. That’s not to say that the next time I move, it’ll be forever. But I won’t be so laissez faire about it any more.
Anyway, I’m spending my peaceful Idaho summer working on these concepts. Analyzing my beliefs, and discarding the ones that don’t lead to finding a home. Trying to figure out what is missing, and what I’m looking for, and how I can fill those gaps with something that doesn’t require cardboard boxes, spending thousands of dollars on movers, and buying my family new address books, since the “H” page is full.
And in the end, it might not be that I’m looking for a perfect place. It might be that I need to learn not to want to be somewhere else (to quote another wise friend, Mr. P.). That even though I want to do all these wonderful things and see all these wonderful places, I might never achieve my long-term goals if I don’t stay put. Although it’s hard to fight those itchy feet…damn Hanggeli wanderlust.
Anyway, I’ll keep you posted on my journey. Hopefully it will result in a quaint cottage near a body of water, with trees and a yard for a dog, in a place that I can call “home.” We’ll see….