I recently moved from my condo to a much smaller apartment. It’s an adjustment, but one I am making happily knowing that I will be able to continue to pursue writing, teaching and painting while working part-time. I have done my best to make my new apartment feel as comfortable as the condo did and it is starting to feel like home.
That being said, let’s be clear: moving is a bitch. I don’t know anyone who enjoys the act of moving. I once spent 20 years living in a house I didn’t like because I hate moving so much. In contrast to that long stretch, I have moved three times in the last 9 years. I am exceptionally blessed to say that I’ve enjoyed each of the three places where I’ve lived, but I have hated moving each time. While I went through the process of this most recent move, I had to reflect back on the other moves I’ve made in my life.
When I was a young wife and mother we moved often enough that the moving mentality stayed in my consciousness almost all the time. We moved so many times that one time a carton of clothes never got unpacked before it was time to move again. I also knew my husband and other male friends would take care of the majority of the physical move and I just had to organize things and tell the men where to put things. I still physically moved things but I had the support of knowing my husband would be able to do the heavier lifting. He was also a sounding board through the decision making process, even if he did leave most of it up to me.
After my daughter’s were grown and I became single again, I chose to sell the home I raised them in. I was still feeling my way around the world of being single which included adjusting from two incomes to one and the house was too expensive for me to continue to live in. It was thrilling to be single and I was happy to make the change, but I was on my own. During that move I leaned heavily on the men in my life who I could cajole into helping me move. I will always be grateful to a couple of them for going above and beyond to help me. I will also always remember how horrifying it was when a male friend was unable to deliver the help he’d promised. The work crew he had said would load and unload all my belongings never showed up. I scrambled on the day of the move to find a moving company who would be able to move me at the last minute. I found a moving company, three friends pitched in and the move was accomplished. My strongest memory of that move is of my good friend Megan and me hauling an antique oak table down a steep flight of stairs by ourselves. We did it, nothing broke and it took three strong moving men to move it out when it came time to leave that home. The moving men were astounded when I told them Megan and I had moved it without help.
I loved that apartment and lived there for almost 4 years. I never intended to buy another house but when I heard about a condo that was in foreclosure that I could pick up for a song I took a deep breath and jumped into home ownership again. The move into the condo was complicated by a need to get out of the apartment I had been living in quickly. My friends, both male and female, pitched in and moved my bedroom and kitchen things as soon as I closed on the condo. Two weeks later I paid movers to move the rest of my belongings. Although friends and family of both sexes helped with the move, my primary memory of that move was the overwhelming feeling of doing it “on my own.” Obviously, I did not do it all on my own, but since I did not have a significant other at that time I still felt somewhat adrift in the chaos of moving to a much larger, more expensive home.
My condo was a beautiful home. I had over 2000 square feet in a prestigious part of the city. I had a lot of ego tied up in living there and doing so by myself. I felt proud that almost every person who walked in the front door gasped at the size and beauty of the condo. However, no matter how much I loved it, when I chose to leave the corporate world I knew the day would come when I would have to sell it. I managed to stay there another year, but after that year I knew the time had come to let it go.
When I decided to put the condo up for sale I spent a lot of time putting out the intention that it would sell quickly and there would be a bidding war. The condo had two showings and both parties expressed interest in putting in a bid. Both parties were told that there was someone else interested. One couple declined getting in a bidding war, but their interest was enough for the other gentleman to bid within $5,000 of asking with the buyer paying the closing costs. SOLD.
This time when I moved, I counted on no one. I was comfortable with the concept of doing it mainly on my own. A male friend helped a little, I paid male movers to move the furniture, but this move was done primarily with Girl-Power. I was thrilled when my daughters Meagan and Molly and my friend Stacie came through like champions. By moving in stages I was able to figure out what would fit in the new place and what had to go. We sorted, we organized and we moved load after load of boxes and “stuff.” The majority of the “stuff” was donated and a lot of things I couldn’t let go of were stored in Meagan’s basement but we did it. I AM DONE MOVING!
I wish I could tell you I maintained my calm throughout each move. If I told you that I would be lying. I go into “bulletin mode” when I move and am almost physically incapable of speaking in complete English sentences. What I can tell you is that my brain has totally shifted in the last 9 years from thinking I needed a man to help me move and to listen to my concerns to realizing I can do this without a man. I have myself and I have good female friends and daughters to lean on. What more could any person ask for?