I started packing. Again.
Why does it feel like all I’ve been doing is packing and moving, packing and moving, for the past four years? Maybe because it’s true.
In honor of the last (cross-country) move for awhile (I hope), I decided to take a trip down memory lane of all the great and small moves of my life.
Sixth Grade: Moved from the farm to Tiny Town, Iowa. I was thrilled because the move meant I got my own room and could coat the walls in glow-in-the-dark stars and horse posters. I even had horse curtains, courtesy of my mom. (Thanks, Mom!) Determined to mark my territory and privacy, I always slept with the door shut, for which I was punished by freezing during the winter and roasting during the summer. Despite my love of my space, even years later I still have recurring dreams about the farm.
August 2008: Moved from Tiny Town, Iowa, to Lincoln, Nebraska, for college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Ah, Neihardt Hall, how I miss thee! The oldest dorm on the UNL campus proved a wonderful home for those nine months. I shared a room with an absolutely fabulous girl and met some of my best friends that year. Plus, climbing up to the third floor three or four times a day built my leg strength and compensated for the massive amounts of dorm food I ate.
Summer 2009: Moved from Lincoln to my parents’ house for a couple weeks until moving to Woodstock, Illinois, for my first internship. (I can never decide it it was one to two moves.) I loved it. Every morning in Woodstock I got up and looked out my window to see two adorable horses about 20 feet from the house. Then the morning walk to work took me down the lane lined with white fence. My office overlooked the vibrant green pastures, and a tiny bonsai tree kept me company in the office whenever the office cats were MIA.
Fall 2009: Back to Lincoln to live with one of my best friends in the world. We lived in a big, old house with hardwood floors and a red wall down the middle of the main floor. Oedipus met Andromeda and it was cautious hate at first sight. By the end they tolerated each other. Every morning I took the city bus to campus, and evenings and weekends were spent on the Equestrian Team. It was the busiest year I had in college, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Summer 2010: On to Texas! I lived in an extended stay hotel with a fellow intern at APHA in Fort Worth. It was an adorable space, but tiny. Water bugs haunted us until the hotel sprayed our apartment for bugs a second time, but it didn’t really matter because we spent all day at an awesome place to work and all afternoon hanging out at the pool. The work was amazing, the dry heat was fabulous, and I got the best tan of my life. When I drove away in the dark morning on a Saturday in August, I wished I could turn around and stay.
Fall 2010: Moved back to Lincoln and in with someone who, at the time, was merely an acquaintance. Now I can’t imagine the past year and a halt without her! We lived in an adorable duplex where Oedipus regularly ran sprints from the bathroom to the kitchen and back again. So much learning and growing and figuring out life happened in that space, and I miss my creamy brown bedroom walls that always made me go “ahhhhhh” at the end of the day. I was 10 blocks from the best coffee in Lincoln, and only a short drive to campus, the mall and some really good friends.
December 2011: Texas Round Two: I currently live with a wonderful woman and her amazing 9-year-old son. They accepted me into their family, and I couldn’t imagine a better living situation for this short time. To top it off, I get to enjoy the beautiful Amarillo winter weather and avoid coats, snow boots, hats and gloves. I moved here with only what could fit in the trunk of my car–less, actually, because I was accompanied by my three sisters, and they each brought a carry-on sized bag. The experience of paring down to the bare essentials (and not using things I brought with me) has been an eye-opening experience. But more on minimalism and moving another day.
February 2012: The next move will take me north for a short pit stop in Iowa to repack all of the things I left in Tiny Town before heading east through the Midwest winter to an East Coast spring in Virginia.
Seven moves in less than four years. Each transition had it’s own challenges, but each experience taught me things about myself. I am so lucky to have lived in so many places, even if just for short periods of time. Each place holds a bit of my heart, and I’m so grateful and amazed by all of the wonderful people I’ve met in each place. I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.