Reflections on Moving

Reflections on Moving

Colleen Quinn
Jul 26, 2010

There is something so poignant about the aftermath of a move — the empty apartment that used to be your home is now an echo-filled void. For the person looking to move in the space is full of potential but for the outgoing resident, it is the end of a chapter, a slice of life that can never again be recreated. The apartment above is, or rather was, mine, and I am certainly sad to say goodbye to my home of the last four years.

I took a bunch of pictures of this apartment in better days, pictures that show off my favorite elements of the home and capture the feeling of the life I led here. With a job that requires moving internationally every few years, I've found that is it nice to have visual reminders of my various homes to look back on once I've moved on to new vistas. Knowing that I can always look back in the space in the future helps me let go in the present.

I've also found that knowing what I'm moving into helps me in the process- the sadness of leaving one home is offset by the excitement of planning for the new one. This time around, I got only limited information about my new space so I'm moving in the blind which certainly made packing for shipment vs. storage rather challenging. Still though, there is a certain thrill to the idea of moving into a place sight unseen and making it my own.

In the end, I confess that I am a creature of habit and so moving is always a traumatic experience for me. I always wait until the last minute to start organizing, I always have stuff left over that I'm frantically dealing with on the last day, and I'm always much sadder about leaving than I am excited about my new adventure. Once I arrive at my new destination I rediscover the joy, but on a day like today when I'm getting ready to turn in my keys, I always find myself fixated on that Barenaked Ladies song "The Old Apartment", saddened that what this morning was my home will tomorrow be nothing more than that place I used to live.

What about you? Do you focus on moving as the start of something wonderful or as the end of something great? Apart from the stress of the move itself, do you find yourself giddy with anticiaption or mired in sadness when the time comes to lock the door for the last time?

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