On Moving


Since 2012, I’ve moved no less than six times. In those four years, I’ve lived in three different countries and five different cities. For the first time since then, I know that my next move will be definite. That I’ll be spending at least three years (bar a probable exchange semester) in the same room of the same building of the same neighborhood of the same city.

I think by now I could be considered a “pro” when it comes to moving and adapting to new places very quickly, but without failure, I always feel a little lost in the weeks leading up to the move. I’m not able to work as well as I did, I’m not able to dedicate myself to my mindfulness, sports and books as well as I did.

It’s refreshing for once to know that in two years I’ll be waking up in the same bed I’ll sleep next month. It’s refreshing for once to know that the friendships I make won’t be each moving to a different part of the country (or world) in a year or less, it’s refreshing to know that for once in a very, very long time, what I do stays with me for years.

I never completely liked moving in the same way I never completely disliked it. Moving is always a chance to start anew, a chance to show a different part of yourself, a chance not to get stuck. You force yourself to eliminate the superficial, to not hoard anything. You force yourself to be minimalistic on your possessions and not attach yourself to a particular piece of furniture, gadget, or anything else that will make your move even a little more difficult.

But leaving everything behind is never easy. Wherever we pass by, wherever we live in, we leave a little piece of ourselves. We leave a part of our lives that we’re unlikely to get back.

I’ll never see the person I was back in Stockholm again. The Vinni who passed by Passau is already dead. The Vinni who’s headed to Kiel? He’ll live a little longer than the others before him, he also won’t exist forever.

When faced with how fleeting this all is, we might tend to give it less importance. I know I did. I know I thought to myself that there was no reason to dedicate myself fully to a place I wouldn’t be staying in. Now, I wish I could have done different. I wish I had dedicated myself more and given myself more. Maybe the Vinni going to Kiel would be different, better.

But he’s me, and now, knowing that, I know what I’ll do.

  • Anjelus

    “When faced with how fleeting this all is, we might tend to give it less importance. I know I did. I know I thought to myself that there was no reason to dedicate myself fully to a place I wouldn’t be staying in.”

    It sounds like you already know why this is wrong, but what are friends who don’t jostle one another’s errors, eh? If you said this to me in person, I’d say, “Why dedicate yourself fully each morning, to a day that will end?”None of our activities is permanent! All of our homes are on lease! The land we walk, we only steward! And it’s an open question whether we’ll even take our loves with us, when we go.

    We build homes brick by brick, don’t we? And when one bedroom is finished, do we destroy it to get started on the kitchen? Pshaw! I wouldn’t say, “the Vinnie of Stockholm is dead,” but rather, that that ‘wing’ of the home is now complete; now it’s time to get working on the next. Those old Vinnies aren’t dead, they’re integral parts of the whole “House Vinnie” that you’re building. And a good builder knows that the whole, is only so good as its parts.

    You do leave pieces behind, but you take many more with you… so long as you’re careful to collect them, I suppose.

    I’ll be traveling soon myself. The experience is unpleasant; moral stability is a virtue, but it needs ‘stability of place’ to help it along. The good news: If you keep a tidy soul, you can seek refuge within your mind wherever you go.

    The bad news, is that a ‘messy’ soul is a chain around the neck wherever you go (which is why I find vacations so ineffective); and, like any uncleanliness, it’s easier to have messiness than tidiness. But that’s why it’s good for you to keep a blog such as this – writing daily is like dusting daily!

    All the best in your travels!

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