Moving Again

I am living among boxes AGAIN! Yes, it is true, I am preparing to move for the eighth time in three and a half years. Due to a bit of a fiasco with a recently purchased condo, we are transporting ourselves into new digs in Venice next week. We knew it was official on Wednesday, and I already have us about 75% packed up and ready to go. It will be an easy move, as we never got quite settled here in the condo. I am such a pro at moving that I am confident we'll be all square in the new place - minus a few pictures on the wall, perhaps - within a day. When it comes to moving, I don't mess around.

I have moved throughout my entire life, and my mom always tells me I am a gypsy at heart, rarely staying in the same place very long. It is not necessarily that I get restless and feel a great desire to move, move, move, it has been more a matter of circumstance that I learned to deal with at a very early age. I not only learned to adjust and adapt to new places, homes and environments, but I also learned to appreciate the benefits of moving. I learned to be outgoing, because my first mission in any new neighborhood was to make friends. I also learned to create my own space wherever I was. Over the past three or so years I have lived in a studio with no shower, a room in a house with people I barely knew, on a beautiful estate in Montecito with a giant Buddha and gardens to die for, and in a wonderful tiny cottage surrounded by bamboo! No matter where I was, I made it my own space in one way or another. My environment is so important to me - wherever I am it has to have something that makes me feel it is all my own.

I know some people who lived in the same house from birth to adulthood, and as adults they live mere miles from that very house, where their parents still live. I always wonder what that experience is like. What is it like to know the same space through all those years - where you learned to speak your first words, where you imagined yourself as Wonder Woman or Princess Leia, where you kissed your first boy and where you returned after fleeing to college or another city or another life or whatever. What is that like?

I shall never know. For me, the different stages of my life are marked by the different cities in which I lived, the different schools I attended and the different bedrooms in which I existed. I think of different homes and specific memories are instantly conjured up. Is this true for someone who lived in the same home the entire time they were growing up? Is it easier for me to remember certain experiences, feelings, friends and dreams? As is true in so many situations, there are gifts and losses in either case. Instead of pining for something that is impossible to attain, I shall simply accept my role in life as a nomad. For whatever reason, I was not meant to have one single home, but to learn to create a home wherever I am, and learn to appreciate all the different places in which HOME exisits - in my sketchbook, in Sofia's giggle, in the scarf knitted by my grandma, wrapped around my neck, keeping me warm.

Christine Mason Miller

Santa Barbara, CA

Writer * Artist * Storyteller * Guide