A view of the Space Needle from the roof of my building in Seattle, Washington, one of the many places I have called “home” in the past several years.
This strange, somewhat obnoxious period of time has found its way into much of my life. I’ve moved a lot in the past fifteen years, all starting when I joined the military back in 1999. In 2008, just after I had separated, it still did not stop. When I tell people I’m moving, their response usually starts with ” …again?”. And with any big life-change, such as moving to another state, therein exists the “in-between”.
It can best be described as “keeping busy while waiting for something better”. Usually, I know what is on the horizon, just like I do now. As I write this, I’m just three weeks from moving back to Portland, which will hopefully be the last move in a very, very long time. But still, I’m in a metaphorical waiting room, doing things to pass the time. Work, packing, cleaning … I do nothing that will last. I have not really savored much of my one-year stint in California, and any attempt to connect myself to this place is long gone. I think I knew that, from the start, it would not last.
There’s a somewhat careless attitude about being in this strange frame of mind. Not that it’s intentional, or that I don’t care about what’s around me. It’s just that there’s an emotional detachment from my surroundings. When I know a place is temporary, which I have known about this place for quite some time, then I pull away. During my time in the military, nothing was permanent. Every duty station was 2 or 3 years, maximum. Friendships were geographical, and community only existed within my work environment. Everything else would change, so there was no reason to plant roots. Ripping them out would have just hurt too much.
And so this particular “in-between” is much more palatable. I know that where I am going is a place I love, and a place I want to live in. This is the first time in a very long while that I have felt that way. I am excited to plant roots, to rediscover my community, and feel like it will last forever. That’s a very big deal to someone like me. This “in-between” right now is uplifting; I think that it’s because I really like change. I love the adventure of what’s to come, some of it unknown, and yet there is a lot of comfort in knowing that the changes in my future will at least all happen in the same place.