Moving is a bitch. Pardon my French, but I don't really know how else to put it. There are lots of obligations in life I could do without, but there is no doubt moving is near the top of the list. It's one of the most mundane, inconvenient, and inappropriately expensive endeavors one will come across. I've done it so much in the last 9 years, that I'm essentially a pro at it, and if not for the sheer hatred I have for moving, I could probably make a fairly decent living having people pay me to move their stuff. Since my first move to Blanding I at UK in 2003, I've moved an additional eight times. Only twice have I stayed in one place for longer than a year, and at one point I moved into a house, only to move again two months later. It's mind-numbing to think about.
That being said, there are few (very, very select few) things I like about moving. There's always the excitement of being in a new environment, even if it's just across town. Sure, the means of getting there is always miserable, but the end is new and exciting, at least for a while. Plus, there's the inevitable purge of meaningless trinkets, documents, and long-expired food items that have accumulated over the course of several months, or even years. With every item I pick up to pack away, I might as well be plucking the petals from a wildflower, asking "To keep, or not to keep?" I could furnish a small apartment with all of the things I've thrown out or donated to Goodwill over the years.
And sometimes, you come across long-forgotten items that you aren't exactly sure why you held onto to begin with, but when you discover them, you're so glad you did. It could be an old collection of photographs you stuffed in the bottom of a drawer, reminding you of some bygone night out with the boys...Maybe a faded deck of cards you thought you'd thrown away, or that favorite, paper-thin t-shirt you had been unsuccessfully looking for for months, totally convinced it had gotten lost in the previous move. No matter what it is, with every move I always find something I had forgotten I owned, and it always makes me smile.
As much of an inconvenience as it was moving, this most recent move has brought more excitement and change than any other, save for that first move to college back in '03. Like that one to my first college dorm, this one marks the beginning of a new stage in life...A major step into the unknown. I remember the feeling I had in those last few weeks before I left home for the first time. I was so ready to start my college experience, that I hardly took the time to soak in those last few days of being at home. I knew things were going to be different...I would no longer have Mom and Dad there all the time to keep me on point. I wouldn't have them there to make sure I was up on time in the morning, and I wouldn't have them there to feed me three square meals a day. I knew I wouldn't be able to see my best friends everyday, and I knew there were things I'd miss out on. But the excitement of taking the next step, starting that new journey, totally overshadowed any fear, doubt, or sadness I had about leaving. This time around, it's been very similar.
Adrienne and I will be starting new jobs in just a couple of weeks, and then our wedding is just over two months away. While getting prepared for all of that has been stressful, and even a bit overwhelming, the excitement of all the changes taking place underscores everything. We've had to decorate our first home together, we've had to adjust to living under the same roof for the first time, and we've had to get mentally (and physically) prepared for a demanding, time-consuming career as teachers. But, the newness and the excitement is unbelievable. Sure, it's been difficult at times getting adjusted to all the change, but I think it has gone about as smoothly as either of us could have hoped for.
I know things are probably a bit different for Adrienne, because she's never really done this before. She did live in the dorms at WKU for a couple of years, but home was always close by. Being away from my family is not something I enjoy, but I've done it for so long now, that I've grown accustomed to it. And I think Adrienne is enjoying the change so far, although I'm sure there will be times where homesickness sets in and dominates everything. Lord knows I've been blindsided by it from time to time. But, as she's been told many times, home is only a short drive away. One that I'm sure we will make dozens of times over the next several months, both to her home and mine.
As smothering and taxing as a deluge of change can initially be, even when highlighted by unremitting excitement, we both know the change is for the best. Making the move to Mount Sterling brings so many refreshing opportunities that it makes dealing with the stress a much simpler task. Adrienne gets to start her teaching career, and I get a chance to take my teaching career in a totally new direction. As tough as it may be, we get the chance to grow together away from our families, essentially forcing us to forge our own support system which will only strengthen us going forward as we start our lives in marriage. On the surface, the situation couldn't have worked out much better, from the schools we will be working in, to the community we will become a part of. It seems to be the perfect fit for both of us. Only time will tell, obviously, but we're adjusting surprisingly well and surprisingly quickly.
Hopefully, the next time we have to pack up and move, it will be as homeowners. Because I sure don't want to have to make this a habit.