My Portable Life
Since leaving for college in 2003, I have moved in and out of my parent’s home a total of 6 times. Sort of.
I say sort of because I never changed my permanent address– the same address I had claimed as a child was still mine through all of those “moves”. The closest I got to a true address change was when I had my mail forwarded to me in Arizona for 5 months.
I am a classic boomerang child.
Or perhaps I have been a fledgling. It is my understanding that most baby birds don’t just up and fly out of the nest one day. Instead, they fall out a few times and climb back in, going out just a little further on that branch each time, before one day they finally spread their wings and soar.
Yeah… let’s go with that analogy, shall we?
Living with extended family has it’s blessings and downfalls, and this is not the first time I have run up against the wall that is being an adult child at home. As an adult, of course, I have the expectation and understanding that I live my life on my terms. For the most part I pay my own bills, and have provided for myself with the exception of paying rent. Cushy? Sure! Who wouldn’t like to live rent free? I helped buy groceries, do housework, care for my mother/sister/niece/pets as needed, held down full time employment, and didn’t have wild house parties. I was not a freeloader, and I am proud of that. But…as conscious as my parents were of the fact that I am not a child (even though I am their child), we still were finding ourselves at odds more often, on more issues.
I started to feel the stirrings of wanting to leap from the nest back around the holidays. Blame it on the snow– I had cabin fever, and I needed out. I knew from prior experience, however, that my wings weren’t quite ready to make the jump. So I waited. And waited. Long story short, Mama Bird gave me the kick in the ass I needed to make the leap.
Much to my surprise, I have missed the ground.
This brings me back to my moves. 6. Maybe 7. I’ve lost track, because none of the moves really meant anything. I always knew that one way or another I’d be coming back to 34 High Road. Wherever my head was hitting the pillow, High Road was home.
Today, I filled out the change of address form at the Post Office, and I ticked the box that says ‘Permanent’.
It was a bittersweet moment; as was looking around my room and realizing that everything I own will fit neatly inside one 10-foot truck come this Friday and knowing none of it is likely to ever see this house again. It brought to mind the lyrics of the Particleboard Song, in which the singer laments the abysmal quality of his furniture. While my own collection of home goods is a weird amalgam of things both heirloom quality and IKEA-riffic, I can identify with the feeling of transience in the song.
This is one of those moves that’s trickling along… a carload of boxes here, a suitcase of clothing there. Down the branch, a little at a time. On Friday I will pack up the “big ticket” items in a U-Haul and commence my daily living as a resident of Manchester. Big hop. Away from the safety of the nest, and out on the assurance of my own two wings.