Forrest Gump once said that life is like a box of chocolates. Well, mine is just an empty cardboard box, ready to be filled and moved somewhere else. There is nothing I have done more consistently in my life than moving places. Well, maybe writing… but again, I started moving when I was one year old, and writing only when I was six.
This week I am moving places again. In the middle of this paralyzing pandemic, I have to find the strength and courage. And that scares me almost more than Covid-19. How did I get here, and how do I stop it? Because I don’t particularly like moving places. It just keeps happening in my story. One of those things that, because I have not solved, are put back into my life by the universe, over and over again. That is what happens when you don’t look your problems in the eyes. They can haunt you forever, becoming part of your life, and it gets really difficult to solve them.
How did it begin? I moved three countries in my early childhood. I was born in Rio de Janeiro, moved to California when I was a baby, then to Paris when I turned two. Back to Rio in 1980, it was the only time when I had a long stretch of stability by living in the same house for almost nine years! I resided in a compound of townhouses, most tenants were single mothers with kids my age, who became my best friends. I had freedom, I never wore shoes, and would run on the paved streets pretending I was in a tropical forest. My imagination ran wild and this period of my life has contributed a lot to who I became.
In my teenage years, I went to Israel and then back to France. And back to Rio. And to California. This is a long and boring list of cities and countries. But don’t get me wrong: even when living in the same city, I would move places every two years. It is just my M.O. I usually get tired and bored and need something new. Maybe the fact that I have always worked from home has also contributed to this compulsive pattern in my adulthood. In a way, moving houses also feels like changing jobs. Strange, I agree.
Many of my dreams evolve around houses. I am always looking for properties, to buy or rent it, but they all have something wrong going on. As if I did not belong there. I have had nightmares with crumbling floors, falling ceilings, wall-less structures, sketchy gardens, dangerous neighborhoods. You name it.
Fortunately, contrary to my unconscious feelings, in real life I have been blessed with good places. And I was able to make a home out of every single house or apartment I lived in, really belonging to that place for a while. Nevertheless, I have been looking to buy the house that will keep me rooted. Over time, I have developed an obsession with real estate, decorating, flipping houses and all related investments around properties. Deep inside, I know that this is all peripheral to my core desire: all I want is the house that will make me stay put. Regular dinners filled with laughter, friends over, my daughters and family around. My piece of land.
I am pretty sure that the pandemic made the whole world grow deeper roots in their houses. Indeed, it feels fantastic to have a safe roof above your head when you have to be locked down. I did not particularly wanted to move out right now, but there were decisive factors: first, the separation from my ex last July; then my older daughter going to college in August; and the fact that the house became too big for just myself and my younger daughter. Then, finally, my lease was over and it felt organic to reboot and get a fresh start. Remember that I said last week that less it more? Quite my vibe right now!
I know that home is where our heart is. And I am blessed to have my heart always connected to the ground I stomp my feet on. But it is time I grow deeper roots! How about you? Drop me a comment about your current living situation?