What’s your number?
I’ve never considered myself a restless person. Those type of people, I thought, were the ones that could carry all their belongings in their backpacks and had a beauty routine of water and fresh air. No, I thought to myself. I’m not one of those. And then I decided to move house….again. Again being the 13th time (lucky 13th). Considering I recently turned 28, that’s a lot of places to have lived in, especially when comparing notes with my best friend – her number being a sensible 3.
It started when I was 10 with the divorce of my parents. Dad moved to a place a few streets away from our family home and my brother and I were excited that his new place had stairs. If there is such thing as a perfect divorce, my parents had it, including sharing custody of my brother and I. Each Sunday afternoon we would pack our bags and head to the other house, and there we’d be welcomed with fresh sheets, clean rooms and new snacks. The initial feeling of being welcomed back home was one I always loved. Like getting a new start each week.
At first it was hard but we got into the rhythm of things. The downside was the risk of always forgetting something, a part of my childhood that probably helped me to be so organised in later life. The upside though was that life with mum and dad was so different. Mum let us eat dinner on the floor while watching Seinfeld. Dad was more likely to buy us McDonalds on a Friday night.
Soon one week spent at each house grew into two weeks. And with that, both my parents moved house around the same time, as new members of the family were added – including a dog who also moved house with us each fortnight (he even had a bag we packed with his toys in it). By the time I was 16, they’d both moved again – so within 6 years I’d moved between 6 different houses. And packed too many suitcases to bare.
Eventually the moving got tiring and I decided to move out altogether and in with my then boyfriend. The initial concept was one of excitement. A place to call my own I thought – completely disregarding the fact I’d have to live with a messy boy and his equally messy friend. This was my first taste of living with a messy boy other than my brother, which I’ve now come to realise after much experience, applies to pretty much every boy in existence. The male I know who isn’t messy is my dad – and that probably stems from years of being nagged by women to pick up his clothes. Either that, or his breed no longer exists below the age of 50.
I’ll spare you my entire real estate resume but needless to say, I’ve lived it all. Share houses, town houses, inner city high rises and solo apartment living (my favourite). I’ve moved because of breakups, new relationships, new jobs, new cities. And each time I moved I swear it would be the last time. Like a breakup, the amount of effort, heartbreak, money and work it takes to move is one you never really want to go through again. You think to yourself ‘I’m so glad to get outta here!’ But then you find another reason to move again, and you think why not? Maybe this will mean a fresh start? Maybe this will be it.
Or at least, that seems to be what I think each time I decide to sign a lease or do that trip to Ikea. This time it’ll be different, I think to myself. And while it is always different, sometimes I think I may be a little addicted to the thought of the real estate unknown. Never wholly satisfied, and a little allergic to the phrase ‘settling down.’ I’m enjoying where I am at the moment, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how long it takes me to get sick of the view of the shard. In the mean time I’ll unpack my suitcase and my multi-step beauty routine. Maybe I am a restless person after all – just with a bit more baggage
So tell me, what’s your number?