Where is everyone going? Whether it’s housing or job related, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, one in every 8.5 people are relocating.
I’m not sure how it all started for me. Somewhere between a curiosity about a peripatetic lifestyle, longing to eat dinner with my extended family every Sunday and meeting Mr. Wiz* (who was a “retail brat,” moving with his family each time his father was transferred), it just happened. Once it did, I took pleasure in the fact that, with each move, the slate was wiped clean and I had the opportunity to start over and reinvent myself.
When I look back, each experience had its unique qualities. I tried to find the best of every city, made it my own while I lived there, then happily moved on, tucking those memories away into the layers that formed who I am today:
- Mr. Wiz moves from Cleveland, Ohio to a Park Avenue studio in New York City. We start our sales representative business together. Business cards look great, but no one is invited to his cramped quarters.
- Little by little, Mr. Wiz is moving his belongings to my place in Mohegan Lake, New York. He presents a spreadsheet at dinner one evening, showing me that we could afford a New York City showroom for our business if we move in together: deal done!
- Our Mohegan Lake rental goes co-op. We spearhead our fellow renters to unite for better purchase terms and are relieved to find out that the young couple with a new business who are turned down for a loan is not us.
- Executives from an English company fly over for the day to meet us and offer us both a position. It’s too good to pass up and we’re off to Lake Bluff, Illinois.
- A Chicago company with a subsidiary in Arkansas sweetens the pot just enough and our next stop is Heber Springs, Arkansas.
- Mr. Wiz excitedly surprises me with his idea to buy a historic building in nearby Mountain View, Arkansas. Once a car dealership, it’s now utilized as a warehouse by the company he is running. We scrape the black paint off the windows and experiment with selling their products at the upcoming Bean Festival. Fifty thousand tourists crowd the little town, we sell out, renovate the building, move upstairs and our store Mountain View Mercantile is born.
- Once Big A* is born, we are starting to wonder where he will go to school (Arkansas is not high in its educational rankings) and missing family and friends. We head back to Merrick, New York, a suburb of N.Y.C. and home of my parents.
- As hard as we try, we just don’t seem to fit into the suburban lifestyle. This time, rather than have the job dictate our new city, Mr. Wiz decides that we should first choose the city and the job will follow. We choose Chicago and after a few phone calls, he is offered a position there.
- From our city rental, we move to a city condo.
- We move two more times within the same condo building. It’s a win-win; Mr. Wiz gets to gut and renovate and Big A and I are happy not to have to leave the area.
- We (J.C.*, Mr. Wiz and I) decide to put our Chicago condos up for sale. They both sell quicker than expected and before we know it, we are in Austin, Texas, signing leases for rental apartments.
- Our heads have almost stopped spinning. Once we get our bearings, I’m not sure what will be next.
The word moving is defined as “to change one’s place, position or residence; to make progress; to advance.” In one way or another, I hope that I never stop moving.
*Who’s who? See “Cast of Characters” on the “About” page.