In a first conversation with my now husband he asked where I was from. “I get around,” I replied. His eyebrows lifted. “No, no, no. Not like that. I’ve just lived a lot of places. I’m a mutt.” Given that I called myself a whore and a dog in a span of five seconds, it’s a miracle he still asked me out. (Or did I ask him? In replaying this scene that sounds more likely…)
As you can see on this handy map that took me far too long to create, I’ve lived in ten states covering both coasts and the middle:
My parents weren’t in the military; they were opportunistic. When something came along that was promising for my father’s career– which often happened as he was a charismatic communicator– a moving truck showed up a few weeks later. It has been suggested, in a well-meaning way, that our roaming lifestyle must have been hard. While I do recall a moment after my father announced our move from sunny Orange County to not-so-sunny Minneapolis where my sister shouted, “NO, JUST NO. THAT’S NEAR CANADA,” we both learned a lot from these family adventures. Such as:
- Home is where you hang your heart. If you’ve newly moved, try meditating to this wonderful adage. It’s the relocation version of If you build it, they will come. For a new community to accept you, you must embrace them. Do not confuse this with turning into who you think they want; be open to the goodness in every culture and they will likely take the time to find the goodness in you.
- Figure out what you’re willing to do to fit in on the new set. In the early nineties, my sister and I showed up to Minnesota with crimped hair and neon tanks fitted to our lower abdomen with a contraption I’ll refer to as a shirt buckle. It took all of twelve seconds to realize that our northern friends-to-be didn’t dress like our SoCal pals. If fashion was important to us, perhaps this would’ve been an opportunity to boldly introduce a new fad. But by then we’d learned the benefit of picking your challenge-status-quo moments for things you’re passionate about. For us, changing from Wet Seal to Gap wasn’t one of them.
- Interesting, engaged people live everywhere. This is a fact. If you haven’t stumbled across anyone meeting that description, keep searching. They’re there. Wherever you are.
- Moving is an adventure if you let it be. What’s endearing about your new digs? Annoying? Might it be possible to view the annoying things as hilarious? Perspective can turn things from slightly traumatizing to wholly fascinating.
- This isn’t just a cheesy song: Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold. Airplanes and post offices (and now Facebook and Twitter and Instagram) exist for a reason. I’m an excellent keeper-in-toucher who’s lived in ten states, so– given today’s mobility– there aren’t many cities I go where I don’t have an old friend now living. I cannot overstate what a gift this this is.
Yesterday we closed on a house in Connecticut. I am about to begin my eleventh adventure, this time with two kids in tow. I’m overwhelmed by the amount of work our new house needs, the enormous task of unpacking, and all the daily “stuff” that won’t get done while I tend to those things.
But I’m not worried about our family finding our niche here. Home is where you hang your heart.
Latest posts by Abby Fabiaschi (see all)
- I’m Like a Rash - Thursday, September 1, 2016
- The Delay that Saved the Day - Thursday, August 25, 2016
- Books: A Case Study - Thursday, August 18, 2016
- Want to be charmed? Read THE CITY BAKER’S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING! - Thursday, August 11, 2016
- Me & THE WASHINGTON POST agree: UPTOWN THIEF makes you think while it entertains! - Thursday, August 4, 2016