I’m really good at moving.
It’s exciting and freeing. When a place or situation turns stale there’s something extremely satisfying about packing a car and tossing or donating anything that doesn’t make the cut.
Leaving is shedding a skin that no longer fits. Moving forward is pleasing. A sense of transience is liberating. Perhaps knowing that leaving is always an option is what’s comforting.
From birth up until today, I’ve moved 21 times. New cities, across borders, I’ve packed and unpacked so many times.
At some point the constant movement, the perpetual transience, is detrimental. In the last year or so I’ve learned that staying in one place long enough to build strong networks of friends and buisness contacts is a remarkable thing.
Anonymity in a new city is no match for the luxury of calling a friend up to watch your cat for the weekend. Solitude sucks when you are a newbie swinging and striking out with professional contacts and job prospects.
The notion of staying rooted has been on my mind for a while. Yes, a new city brings new opportunities, challenges and experiences, but making a good name for yourself in a familiar place will eventually start turning things in your favour. Someone knows a guy who knows a guy who knows me, and then I get a photo job. Word of mouth is pretty cool.
The only catch there is choosing a place with enough to keep your soul happy. This takes a fair amount of honesty and introspection because if a place just isn’t right at the start…it probably never will be.
Once I found myself living in a town of 2,800 people. One grocery store, one pub and the worst people I had ever met. From day one when I rolled into that dusty black hole of a town, I knew I would never be happy there. Your gut will tell you. I lasted 11 months. Then I jammed things into my car and drove away into the night. I never looked back. It was the right thing to do.
Circle around to where I am now. All throughout university I thought I would graduate and get the heck out of dodge. It always felt too small and too quiet. Six years later I’m still here. Job opportunities are starting to pop up left and right. I have plenty of great friends. My gut is quiet. Perhaps always leaving isn’t always right.