Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Friday, March 30, 2007

No cats were harmed in the making of this curiosity . . .

No, curiosity has thus far not caused Jemima to get herself into any strife, but I swear it’s not for lack of trying. The scattering of boxes, rolls of tape, pens, green bags and items of every description all through the house has caused her no end of amusement, and has left me feeling that I’m shouting at her every couple of minutes. *Crash* “JEM!” “Meow?” *Crinkling sound* “Mima . . .” *guilty silence*. And try assembling a box when the cat is pouncing on it every time it moves, and then pounces on the tape or the stanley knife every time you put them down. It’s not easy!

The house is currently (7pm on Friday night) at the stage where it looks like there’s no possible way I could be ready to move by Sunday morning. I know I will be, even if it means just chucking things in boxes and sorting them out later, but from this vantage point it looks hopeless. I really need to do another couple of hours’ work tonight, and I’m not looking forward to it. I did a full day at Subway today, after a full day’s packing and moving yesterday, and I’m wiped.


On Tuesday I had another of my ongoing de-stressing appointments with the counsellor at uni, and we discussed the feelings of frustration and helplessness that I was having over moving house again. From an outsider’s perspective, he came up with an insight that’s strongly affected how I see this move, and I wanted to share it. Basically: this move is the latest in a string of 12 moves over the last 10.5 years. The first of those moves – on December 16th, 1994 – was entirely out of my hands. I was 14, and I was told that a) Dad wasn’t coping so I had to go and live with Mum, and b) that this was non-negotiable. I did not want to move, and was very angry and depressed about the arbitrariness of the move.

Of the 11 other moves, some were my decision, some were whole-family moves from one house to another, and some were forced on me by circumstance (when the place I was renting was sold, or when I hurt my hand, for example). But none of them were totally arbitrary and entirely managed by someone else. I had some say in all of the rest of the moves, and positively agitated for or eagerly anticipated several of them. Some of them were extremely well-organised and planned by me. This current move was motivated by my decision to remove myself from an untenable situation, and all of the arrangements are well in hand. Circumstance has played a part, of course, but I’m in control. I've only felt out of control because I've been applying the helpless rage I felt towards the first move, to every subsequent move.

This was a “wow” moment for me. It probably sounds obvious to others, but I have a lot of trouble valuing myself and my own actions, so it simply had not occurred to me that I was actually doing pretty well to have everything under control and organised etc. That revelation made me critically re-examine all of the other moves, and it’s become clear that apart from whole-family moves and that one first move, a) I’ve actually been capably managing my movements since I left home when I was eighteen; and b) I’ve been getting better at it over time.


So I’m feeling a lot more secure about my ‘nomadicness’ now. And I’m starting to see that ‘home’ isn’t necessarily bricks and mortar. I still want to be a part of a community and have a single home where I stay put for many years, and I’m sure that will come eventually, but I’m now able to see that I’m managing the process in the meantime, and that I do have a sense of ‘home’ that moves around with me. It feels good to know that.


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