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I Don't Pray, I Move My Feet

I wish I could relax. I wish I knew how. People who have known me for years would call me laid back, cool-headed, accepting...but my mom is not wrong when she calls me tightly wound and high strung. I'm always going. Always looking for what is next, never satisfied with what I have now. I have a need, and emptiness that needs to be filled. A longing for something. But for what, I don't know. I don't know.

So I search and search. I try on different metaphoric hats--different places, different jobs, new people, no people, experiments in adulthood, things I can easily back down from, back out of if it becomes too frightening, or too restricting. I have claustrophobia of the spirit. I'm terrified of things that could trap me, stick me to one place or one person, make it impossible to run away or escape if need be.

I always wonder what my life would have been like had my family not moved around so much. Had we stayed in Ann Arbor. Had we stayed in Libertyville. Had I not moved after 5th grade, had I not moved after my sophomore year in high school. If I kept the same friends, or had at least known the same people in elementary school, and junior high, and high school, and maybe had some friends, or known some of the same people going into college. Would I know where I belong? Would I have a place I could call my home? Would I know how to keep the friends I make, instead of running away for no reason if they get too close, if they know me too well, if I'm too vulnerable around them? If I show them that tender spot I hid behind my ribs?

I have lived in 20 different houses or apartments, in 11 different cities over the past 29 years. I can renew drivers licenses in 4 states. Even my job is in constant motion. On Friday, I was in 5 different states. I wish I knew what it felt like to be somewhere. To stay somewhere. To know that elusive place called home.

But whenever something doesn't feel right, whenever I question what I'm doing, or who I am, or what my purpose might be, my first thought is where do I move next? Where on my list of places I might want to be will finally feel like where I'm supposed to be? How will I even know when I find it?

Maybe I've already been there, but haven't recognized it. Seattle. Or maybe it's the place whose memories I hold the closest to my heart. Ann Arbor. Or maybe it's the place I wish I was now. Helsinki. Or maybe it's somewhere I've never been. Maine. Or somewhere I go for work. Conneticut. Or the place I was the happiest. Santa Cruz. Or someplace I've always wanted to move. Boston.

I don't know. But the only way I can think to find whatever it is I seek to find, is to keep moving my feet.



( 36 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 23rd, 2011 01:29 pm (UTC)
Nice entry!
Oct. 23rd, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks, and thanks for the LJ Idol inspiration!
Oct. 23rd, 2011 03:41 pm (UTC)
This is fascinating. I have a coworker who's like this, always moving his home from one city to another, and like me, he also does a lot of traveling for his job. I love having a known and comfortable place to return to after a work week away, but he seems unhappy after living in one place for more than two or three months. I wonder, does he feel the same yearning for a permanent home which is at the center of your piece?

Great entry!

Oct. 23rd, 2011 09:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I've often wondered who else feels like me.
Oct. 23rd, 2011 08:06 pm (UTC)
Some of us just have that need to move around, that urge to be nomadic. The real question is do you enjoy the moving around?
Oct. 23rd, 2011 09:09 pm (UTC)
Moving sucks. Learning new places can be...interesting. But it's hard and it just makes me want to throw everything I own away, haha.
Oct. 23rd, 2011 09:31 pm (UTC)
I like making places my own, but not all that time and I want to have room for my stuff. I'm not so interested in learning a new place though. I moved to Houston 3 years ago and still wish I were back where I grew up.

I completely get wanting to toss everything rather than move it though. ;)
Oct. 23rd, 2011 10:22 pm (UTC)
Where did you grow up. I've been to Houston a bunch of times for work and I can't say it's a place I've grown to love.
Oct. 23rd, 2011 10:29 pm (UTC)
Irving, it's a city between Dallas and Forth Worth. Same state but way different feel and atmosphere.
Oct. 23rd, 2011 10:33 pm (UTC)
I think that's what I like about Texas. Such different places and people in one state. Austin vs Lubbeck vs El Paso Vs Dallas and so on.
Oct. 25th, 2011 07:59 am (UTC)
Oh I know! It's fairly wonderful to have such diversity, except when I get turned down for yet another job for not speaking Spanish. *sigh* Though it's interesting how various places so close to each other can feel so different.
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Oct. 24th, 2011 02:08 pm (UTC)
Yes, my least favorite question of all. Freezing up is exactly what happens to me when people ask. I don't know what to answer
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Oct. 24th, 2011 02:26 pm (UTC)
Yes! Followed by my other least favorite question to answer "what do you do for a living/what are you majoring in"
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Oct. 24th, 2011 02:41 pm (UTC)
I say I sell insurance...cuz who wants to ask a follow up question to THAT?
Oct. 24th, 2011 02:27 pm (UTC)
I totally empathize with the desire to keep moving!
Oct. 24th, 2011 03:59 pm (UTC)
I move a lot too. I know that feeling of frenetic motion and where the hell is home and when am I going to be able to finally get there (and maybe even stay there). Maybe we are the type of people who can only find our homes in ourselves. *hugs*
Oct. 24th, 2011 04:00 pm (UTC)
That's a nice thought, home in ourselves. I should focus on that more.
Oct. 24th, 2011 07:15 pm (UTC)
I love to travel but reading all those places just plain wore me out. :)
I wonder if you knew all the answers to all those questions, would it change anything for you? Sometimes, home is where the heart is.
Oct. 26th, 2011 03:58 am (UTC)
I dunno. I think that's what I'm trying to find, where my heart is.
Oct. 24th, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
you really made me feel for you with this. I hope you find much good luck and good times on your many journeys.
Oct. 26th, 2011 03:58 am (UTC)
Thanks...love your icon!
Oct. 25th, 2011 03:14 am (UTC)
The paragraph beginning, "Maybe I've already been there," has a very nice flow to it.
Oct. 26th, 2011 04:00 am (UTC)
Thank you :) It's actually a list that runs over and over in my head. Feels good to have it out.
Oct. 25th, 2011 03:12 pm (UTC)
I have to shake my head in wonder at this one. You are the very definition of a free spirit, I'd say. I can't imagine what it would be like to uproot yourself, to change your life and job and worldview at the drop of a hat like this. Though I do expect it's quite liberating.

Can't understand it, can't imagine it, but I can enjoy how well you expressed it. Wanderlust without limit, a life of constant change. Keep on moving your feet; I'm sure you will anyway, even without my exhortation.

Oct. 26th, 2011 04:07 am (UTC)
What nice sentiments, I was actually have a shit day at work and this was quite a nice comment to read once I got home.
Oct. 25th, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
That is...quite a lot of moving! I can see how you feel restless staying in one place too long now.
Oct. 26th, 2011 04:09 am (UTC)
I have to say, I love your "Things to know before friending me" section. Nice little snap shot of who you are and what you write about.
Oct. 26th, 2011 11:06 pm (UTC)
Why, thank you! I do like to give people a fair warning beforehand. :D
Oct. 26th, 2011 03:55 am (UTC)
I really like this entry. I view it as kind of exciting as I am the exact opposite. I was raised in a small town all my life where everyone knew me, and I knew everyone. I kept the same friends, for the most part, throughout high school and part of college. I grew tired of it all when I was 17 I think. I wanted to get out because I knew I didn't belong. It wasn't until I was 23 that I finally did leave. Moving sucks with a passion, but experiencing a new place for the first time was kind of exciting (and scary).
Oct. 26th, 2011 04:01 am (UTC)
That's awesome! It takes a lot of guts to move, it IS scary! But exciting, congrats.
Oct. 26th, 2011 05:48 am (UTC)
Thanks. Thank you for the good read, and for a view of how a constant mover feels.
Oct. 26th, 2011 07:23 pm (UTC)
Nicely written.
Oct. 26th, 2011 11:20 pm (UTC)
I traveled a lot as a young child, but settled eventually, but there's still a deep seated part of me that feels the urge to move on...

but home is really nice too
Oct. 26th, 2011 11:41 pm (UTC)
I'm the opposite - I've lived in the same place almost forever (since I was 2). I never expected to be that way, but all my stuff and people are here now.

I hope you find what you're looking for.
Oct. 27th, 2011 09:07 pm (UTC)
I am moving around a lot and claustrophobia of the spirit is the best, most apt description of what I sometimes feel, I have ever come across. Very nice entry.
Nov. 4th, 2011 05:49 pm (UTC)
I almost feel like you practically could have been writing about me here.
( 36 comments — Leave a comment )