no room of my own


I've always used a sense of place as my anchor.

We moved into our house in Buffalo when I was three.

When I was about 15 my parents divorced, and my father moved out, leaving me, my mother, and my sister in the house. I stayed in the room I'd grown up in.

When I was about 17, my mother remarried and moved to Rochester, taking my sister with her. I didn't want to leave--it was my senior year in high school. So my father moved back into the house after she'd left, and once again I stayed in the room I'd grown up in.

When I went to college, my father preserved my room. The bed never moved from the corner it was in, the bookshelves never came down. I could always go home again, and feel that sense of connection to a physical space.

I moved a lot during and after college. But the first thing I did when moving into a new space was to quickly unpack my belongings, and create a personal space, filled with recognizable artifacts of my life.

This time it's different. This time it feels like I'm in an uneasy holding pattern. Half a family, a fraction of my belongings, no sense of personal space at all. I have too few hangers, so most of my clothes are still in suitcases. I have a kitchen full of bland glasses and dishes, and walls that are mostly bare. I'm even driving a rental car, which heightens the sense of disconnection.

I could buy more hangers, of course. And try to make this apartment feel more like home. But I don't want to get too comfortable here--in six weeks we'll be packing again for another move. It doesn't make sense to unpack boxes now only to repack them next month.

That's probably why I'm still awake, hours after I first tried to sleep tonight. Even benadryl isn't working its magic on me this evening.

Gerald and Lane are sleeping in Spearfish, South Dakota tonight. They called me at dinner time, on the verge of panic because the 4th of July crowds had occupied most of the available hotel rooms. (Spearfish is quite close to Mt. Rushmore.) Through the magic of the Internet, I found the the last available room in town, and booked it. That means they're less than 1200 miles away now--they may even make it here for the 4th! That will help enormously, as will starting a regular work schedule.

I think the benadryl is finally kicking in. Time to give sleep another try.


Don't have a lot of time to comment, I really should be getting ready for work, but I understand this feeling completely. My family moved incessantly, virtually from the moment I was born, and I became a bit odd about a few belongings that I used to mark out the rough boundaries of each new room.

When I came to Japan, though, I left almost everything behind. Brought just two suitcases, mostly clothes. I remember realizing that I didn't have a single key, to anything, or a drinking glass, or a lamp. I am only now, after more than five years, beginning to accept the space around me as my own.

Liz, I'm back home. Holler when you have a minute and we'll have your family over for a meal. You can see a messy, disordered house. Meals that are made in the kitchen and not from a menu. Lots of video games for the boys to play!

hi there liz. It is 3:42 and I'm sleepless too and i'm hanging out awake. Sorry didn't catch you today. Having some email password snafu so good if you can call if you want to get together this weekend.

tried to call you with the number I have in my cell but seems to be the wrong #.

you should come by and take a bunch of stuff. 6 weeks is too long to be feeling like you aren't at home. or just come and hang at my place.

xoxox thinking of you Lili

Hi Liz, Thanks again for picking me up. I know just how you feel as I've been moving around lately. The sun is shining though and has been for the last 3 days. =)

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry published on July 3, 2005 2:34 AM.

relocation blues was the previous entry in this blog.

independence day is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Category Archives