I’ve been on the move in one way or another for most of my life. I went to 3 elementary schools, 2 junior high schools, and 3 high schools (plus one grade of independent studies). I’ve lost count of how many different places I have lived thus far.
I’ve always been moving around. I used to move just for the sake of moving. Because, well, it was time to get a move on. This move on was usually prompted by a bored random apartment search on Craig’s List, inputting a price range that I thought I could deal with, and BAM! — up would come some great, restored, 1920’s, hard wood floor, crown molding ceiling apartment. Ok, maybe not always in the greatest of neighborhoods, but not the worst either!! Usually smack dab in the middle of an “up and coming” neighborhood. The next thing I’d know, I’d be turning over my ridiculously large security deposit and getting the keys to my new apartment.
I liked the recreation (and re-creation!) of having a new space. New sights, new background noise, new smells in the hallways.
It was interesting to have new neighbors. There have been some wonderful memories and some teeth-gritting nightmares. The good: The little girls who lived 3 doors down who became my best little buddies and would take my doggies for walks when I had long days at the office. Or not so good: The meth-head trust fund hippy who lived above me and left her tub running overnight, having it flood her apartment and subsequently mine! She also loved to trot around her apartment, tweaking out, in wooden clogs on her hardwood floors (i.e., my ceiling) at 3:42 a.m. Good times.
I loved the different views out the windows, sometimes into other people’s windows, but even better when it was the unobstructed view facing west where I could watch the sunset over the silhouette of the city from my 8th floor apartment.
Or the roof of my last apartment which was my favorite late night spot to perch, looking at the lights from the city and listening to buzz of life below. It served doubly as good a spot to sip hot coffee at 5:30 a.m., my breath visible in the cold morning air, watching the sun come up over downtown.
New smells lingering outside in the hall and in the ancient rickety elevator (when it had one). Korean food, Latin American food, sometimes a little hint of curry here and there. Awesome little ethnic markets where I could discover new types of food and spices, and try imported, exotic fruits or previously unknown variations of some of my favorite vegetables.
I liked finding the quickest new route to work. Always trying to keep off the main boulevards and discover alternate routes through parallel running neighborhoods. Seeing interesting buildings, beautiful gardens, artsy-fartsy houses, and even the occasional one that leaves you saying “what the…???” A winner in this category, a home in an affluent neighborhood that had about 20, good-sized white statues of a naked Greek God or David or someone, standing majestically creating a “fence” around the yard. During the holidays, each statute wore a Santa hat. Someone once told me that the grass’ sprinkler system was attached to their **, well, you know. Cute. I’ve never witnessed that so I can’t confirm if it’s true, but let’s face it, the naked statutes are quite bizarre so it really wouldn’t surprise me if it was.
I was always in motion in way or the other. So it’s interesting for me to see where I’ve finally ended up. How the pace of my life has shifted entirely. For the first time in my life, I’ve stayed put for more than a handful of years. Occupied the same space, practically the same corner of the planet for most of the time. I’ve seen so many lives go by that I feel like I’ve been here a lifetime, but I haven’t. I just see more of people’s everyday lives here. I see people fall in and out of love. People meet and start a family. People get hooked on drugs or lose spouses to alcoholism. Addicts who get well and move on to better lives. I’ve seen people live their dream, and for a few handfuls, their worst nightmare.
Don’t get me wrong, I still get the itch to “go”. But go where? I have a great shop. I spend my days in front of the ocean doing something I love. I meet people from all over the world. I live in a place where people pay thousands of dollars to come spend a few days. Oh and the best part — I get to bring my dogs to work (haha). I think the itch is something ingrained in my character. I’m always curious, always questioning and I feel like I’m always growing. People ask me all the time “so will you be in Costa Rica for the rest of your life?” I just answer “Ten years ago I didn’t think I’d be where I am – so who knows where I’ll be for the rest of my life.” I do see more traveling in my immediate future and that definitely wouldn’t be a bad thing, now would it?