Thoughts On Moving (Again)

I am packing books, taking down wall decorations, and loading boxes, for the third summer in a row. In a few weeks, I am moving again.

Some people are good at moving, enjoy it even—maybe not so much the physical act of getting all of their belongings from one place to another—but they relish the idea of a new place, whether it be the same general area they started in or a whole new city, state, or country.

These people are what I have come to think of as “Bird People.” Winged, easily moving from one place to another.

Photo Credit: Flickr User Broo_Am (Andy B), Creative Commons

Photo Credit: Flickr User Broo_Am (Andy B), Creative Commons

I think I am a tree.

Meant to be rooted, deeply, though with branches spreading wide.

We Tree People don’t do so well with the Moving. Every time, it’s not simply a matter of putting physical objects into boxes and vehicles and transporting them to a location; it’s disentangling my complicated feelings about this transient phase of life I’m in, why I’m in it, how I’m pretty sure I’d prefer to not be in it exactly as I am, but not really knowing how to solve it—or even if I’m supposed to solve it, because maybe I’m just supposed to live it.

Moving is a messy business for Tree People. Even if the roots haven’t had years and years to grow, they’ve started. And each move is a transplant.

Sometimes I wish I were a Bird Person. It would make this moving easier, even exciting, instead of so laborious and weighty. But I suppose there are complexities with that way of life that I cannot see from my view.

It takes me a while to settle in a new house, to hang my decorations on the wall and begin to make the mental shift to know what I mean when I tell someone “I’m going home.”

As many times as I’ve now tried, defining home is still tricky. I’m always trying to conjure up this feeling of home, one that’s not tied to the people I’m with because that is constantly changing as well, but to define it in a way that fits me and where I’m at. Home, for me, is a word I want to evoke feelings of warmth, comfort, and coziness, but I’m not quite there.

I’m still figuring out what to do with these roots of mine.

Til next time…


p.s. Are you a Bird Person, or a Tree Person?


Grown-Up Christmas

I put up a Christmas tree by myself yesterday.

In years past, I’ve put up small trees–in my dorm room, apartment, or parents’ basement, and I’ve always loved helping my mom decorate their house for Christmas.

But this felt different. I put the stand together, carefully screwed the base of the tree in place so it wouldn’t move, fitted each section together, strung the lights (twice, actually, cause the first time didn’t look very good), then hung my set of Target clearance section plastic ornaments. I was pleased with how it turned out.treeIn ways it was nice to decorate by myself. I went at my own pace, picked whatever Christmas music I wanted to listen to, and got to decide which ornaments went where, occasionally rearranging them multiple times (I just moved a couple more after writing that sentence).

It felt a little weird though. There’s something about Christmas trees, and the season in general, that speak of home and family and warmth and coziness. I really like my current living situation, but I can’t let myself forget that it’s temporary. This is the only Christmas season that tree will spend in this living room, and it’s the only one I’ll spend living here as well.

As comfortable as I sometimes feel in this stage of life, yesterday was a reminder that things can still be a little weird here. This whole holiday season, starting next week with Thanksgiving and stretching through New Year’s, is going to be a new kind of experience for me.

I’ve always had weird work hours through the holidays, and now I’ll be working almost completely regular ones (though I’m taking a few days off).

I’ve always gone home to my parents’ house or already been living there for most of the month of December, and now I’ll only be there for a few days around Thanksgiving and a few more around Christmas (and even then, it’s mostly because my roommate would likely be gone and I can’t bear the thought of waking up in an empty house on a holiday).

I’ve always looked at the new year as the start of a new semester, and now, it will be just a new date on my emails at work.

Considering how notoriously bad at change I am, I’m not dreading these changes as much as I thought I might. It is different though, and I’m grappling with the realization that this is what adulthood looks like. Or at least my own version of it, for right now. Decorating a tree by myself, working nearly regular hours, only spending a few days here and there at my parents house. A grown-up Christmas, I suppose.

Til next time…


p.s. How did you deal with the changes adulthood brings about, especially when it comes to holidays?

How to Make Friends

It’s not a secret that I like people. More specifically, I like friends. I like having friends, I like being among friends, I like making friends. (Though I won’t go so far as to see there’s no such thing as having too many friends…more on that here.)

Yet now, as an official college graduate (my diploma finally arrived today-yay!), I find myself having to navigate a completely different way of making friends than I have known. Making friends in adult-land is currently a mysterious and baffling process.

As a small child, making friends is easy. You approach someone in the sandbox, and as long as they don’t steal your shovel or push you over, look at that-you made a friend. Over time, things get a bit more complicate. In elementary school different groups begin to emerge-the so-called “popular” kids and whatever other various groups that may crop up depending on the school. Middle school just gets ugly, and, particularly for girls, there are often long periods of time when you’re not really sure who’s your friend and who’s your frenemy and who’s your straight-up enemy. The drama may die down some in high school, or maybe just take different forms. Yet here there’s typically more selection for friends, so it becomes easier to group by interests than maybe just convenience.

Then there’s college. Friends made in college often become more like family, particularly if you live on-campus as I did for a little over half of my college career. Bonds become stronger when you live, study, eat, laugh, exercise, fight, and live mere feet from each other. It is not hard to rack up hundreds of hours of time spent together. These friendships often run very, very deep, and though they may not always be perfect, they are lovely things.

Now I find myself in a completely different phase of life. Though I strive to maintain many of the friendships I’ve had for years, there are other people I’d like to become friends with…but I really don’t know how that looks in this big-kid land I’ve stumbled into. With people who have full-time jobs and spouses and mortgages and children, where do I even begin to form a friendship?

Part of me is apprehensive, feeling too young and inexperienced to be able to relate to these people who seem to know how to do adulthood much better than I do. Most of me is baffled as to what friendships look like now. Clearly these are not the types of relationships that will be forged over late-night food runs and sitting in the same room Facebooking. Seeing as this is what I have known for the past 4 years, I find myself yet again in uncharted territory. I just didn’t expect it to be with friendship.

Til next time…