My friend Jenny is spending an entire year doing things she has never done and blogging about it. This has led to some deep thinking -- on MY part. Today her entry is about a friend of hers who is moving away, and Jenny thinks about what it is like for the person left behind. I am a person who has moved so many times I can't remember how many, and until today I don't remember giving a thought to how the people I left behind were feeling. Maybe I did. But I don't remember it. I do remember wondering why they would be angry at me, why they wouldn't be happy for me.
From the time I started reading books at age 4, and knew there were other places to be, I wanted to go to those places. And I didn't just want to see them, I wanted to live there. I wanted to live in faraway places. But in lots of places. Also, I love houses. Apparently, all houses. So, I always wanted to move. I like decorating, I like redecorating. I'm forever seeing another place I want to live in. Once I was away from home (at 15), I started changing houses. Once I was free to move out of town, I did. My second marriage was to a military man. After I divorced him, I was even freer to move around. I started in Missouri, but I've lived in Alaska, Texas, Kansas, at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, and in Oregon.
I've traveled to every state but Delaware and Rhode Island, and to 20 countries on 4 continents. I have friends in many places, friends I see fairly often. Two of my dearest friends live in other countries. I have as many close friends in NYC as I do in Portland.
Maybe. Maybe I feel that close to them because traveling is such a part of my nature. Maybe they don't feel that close to me. Maybe they only feel that close to people who ARE that close, literally. If I can't be there to wrap my arms around them, hold them when they need it, bring them something to read, make a pot of soup, am I really the friend I think I am? Or am I all just talk? Nice warm cozy words that no one can cuddle up to when pain is real and what they really want is a warm body, not a virtual hand.
These are the thoughts I am having today. I have no plans to move today or any time in the future. I'm happy in my 250 square feet. But if I ever do move again, I will have a different attitude about leaving people behind.
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