Everyone tells me moving is stressful, right up there with life’s biggest burdens — loss, and grief.
For some, moving is a type of grieving. For me, it’s liberating. Usually.
I’ve moved for school, work, and love, and admit not every move has been simple.
(Unless you’ve done a corporate move or two, then it’s really easy, because someone else does the packing, logistics, driving/shipping, the unpacking … and pays for it.)
But when you’ve moved a lot, trust me, it gets easier and easier.
I’ve moved 12 times in the past 8 years.
Before that, I moved a lot too — across continents, across borders, and across my own country — all for work.
I moved for war.
I moved for medical care.
I moved for selfish reasons (my gratitude forever for double fellowships, University of California at Berkeley).
And I moved for unselfish reasons — my husband’s school and work.
The worst? When I moved because of bone-crushing rent hikes by greedy landlords, then post-grad state cutbacks (San Francisco).
The best? When I moved for love — love as a newlywed, and love of the best job in the world (setting up a new international bureau in India).
The best job was lost to war.
Ah, that’s the sweetest part. Love endured despite war and worse; it endured grad school and post-grad study and career switches (both of us); it endured job loss, job gain, then job loss; and it endured 12 moves in 8 years.
I’m grateful for all the moves I’ve made solo, and almost all the moves we made as a couple (one was an escape from neighborhood violence).
I’m truly grateful for this current move, although it has all the big-stress indicators psychologists love to study: unemployment, uncertainty, and more.
Packing gets easier and easier; saying goodbye gets smoother.
Moving is a state of mind, I am certain now of that.
TOMORROW: The simple rule that makes every step of moving easier