Monday, January 21, 2013

From Left to Write: The Expats

Moving from one home to another, state to state, town to town, one coast to the other and back again, layers up inconveniences and work.  It also affords grants many favors and freedoms.

Beginning a childhood career of moving at three weeks of age, it took many less years that one might think to garner awareness of these delights.

From early on - though, not quite that first move at three weeks old, for sure - I reveled in the excitement of a move.  Dad always left for the new location, Mom prepared the house for sale, and there were lots of visitors that I learned, as I grew, were people looking to buy what would become our old home.

Sure, there was the pain in the backside to packing - whether it was a company move that provided help or not - deciding what to keep and what could be parted with permanently.  And when little, the parade of people visiting your home is fun, but as you get a little bit older, you have to help prep the house for each potential buyer.  The man that came with the video camera who insisted I stand in the pictures for his wife, so she could get an idea of scale - even though I was home sick - was certainly worthy of a groan.

There's the work and the inconveniences and the good-byes and all the changes.

And then, there's all the changes.

Moving to a new place means everything is new.  A new house to explore.  New friends to find.  New schools to enroll in.  A new neighborhood to navigate.

And a new You.

Everything is new.  Everything is full of possibilities.

Loaded baggage will travel with you from one place to the next.  But, each new location also leaves one hand free to explore what might happen if that baggage is laid down.

Baggage can always be laid down, regardless of a new location, a new you.  But, inevitably it is a much easier and obvious choice to make when geographically starting over.

Moving more than many military families growing up, I can vividly remember the dazzling excitement of a new least, until I was old enough to assume the responsibilities of moving myself - then, it was a whole lot of work!

And now, happily living in one location for more than a baker's dozen years, I also know the peacefulness of remaining still.

But, no longer will a new location invariably create a new me with little effort.  Staying still means any change I now want, I have to create.  And that is an entirely different, and foreign to me, journey to travel.

This post was inspired by mystery thriller novel The Expats by Chris Pavone. Kate Moore happily sheds her old life to become a stay at home mom when her husband takes a job in Europe. As she attempts to reinvent herself, she ends up chasing her evasive husband's secrets. Join From Left to Write on January 22 as we discuss The Expats. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


  1. My husband and I were both military brats with frequent moving. I've always appreciated the ability to start anew that it provides. Since we've grown up, married and left the military behind, we discovered with have a 5 to 7 year itch where we both start to get itchy to move again. Since we're not in a place we can do that, we've made due with rearranging the house every two years (lol). Though I have to admit, in my heart, I look forward to us picking up and moving on again.

    1. I completely understand that itch and remember feeling it when I was younger. Now, I'm enjoying staying put...and not having to pack & unpack boxes again! :>

  2. this sounds like my husband's childhood, although he never seemed to learn to like it. he was as close to military as you can get w/o being in it, moving with boeng. unfortunately while we've been in the same area for a while, we keep moving from house to apt and back again :)

    1. All the moving definitely made me more adaptable. But, I can understand some of those downsides - having to leave friends behind and make new ones on a regular basis is hard.

  3. Great post. I'm intrigued by the book. As an aside, I went to 12 different schools growing up, then planted myself in Colorado for 13 years while I graduated from high school, college, and got married. In the 13 years since we've been together, we've moved to 2 different states and now I'm loving Austin, TX.

    1. You've got me beat by two! If I'm adding it up right, I made the rounds to ten schools. That's great that you've found somewhere you love. I hear rather cool things about Austin! :>

  4. I went to three high schools in four years, but didn't even realize that I could have reinvented myself at each one! I was still the same geek I had always been at all three. I have been in the same house for 9 years now, and my husband and I are getting antsy for some change. Like you said, when you move - "Everything is new. Everything is full of possibilities." Great post! :)


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