Adam and I have been downsizing since we learned we’d have to move from our home. We seem to have a constant flow of things listed on eBay or Craigslist, odds and ends ranging from watches to his old drum set from his punk band days. All of it going towards our farm, food storage, or other essentials.
So, I got to thinking…just how many times have I moved in my life? How many miles have I traveled? How have all of those different places and people made me who I am?
My first move happened early.
I was born in Port Charlotte to an amazing, courageous woman named Marie (thanks, again. miss you dearly!) who placed me for adoption with my parents who lived in Miami. Bing maps tells me that’s about 186 miles by car, but we flew American – I still have my little gold wings. Let’s call it 150 miles, shall we?
My next move was much shorter. When I was 7, we moved into a rental home while our newly purchased home was being renovated. Add 1/4 of a mile – it was in the same neighborhood. Then another 1/4 mile to our new home – still the same neighborhood.
This was the house I grew up in. Lots of memories there, for sure. Just a few short years after this picture was taken, my big brother moved out and joined the Army. My little heart was broken for the first time.
I spent my childhood dreaming about horses and musical theater. Here’s a classic teenage awkwardness picture of me and my best friend Nikki rehearsing for chorus banquet in 10th grade. If I remember correctly, we were singing that Mr. Big song, “To Be With You”. Good times, good times…
Shortly after this, Nikki moved all the way across country to Washington state. My heart was broken a second time.
My next big move took me to Rollins College and my first taste of freedom. But with that freedom came another big loss. I had to move away from my boyfriend John.
Another move, another heartbreak. This move added another 252 miles to my lifetime total. Regrettably, all that freedom went to my head, and his was the heart that was broken. Crushed, really. It was not the best chapter of this story. I can’t say I’m proud of what I did, but I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to apologize.
I discovered, many thousands of dollars into it, that college was not for me. After (almost) two short years of anger and rebellion, I moved into an apartment with my equally rebellious boyfriend Jay.
This move added 11 miles to my trek…and heartbreak… and a lot of personal growth. This relationship was full of adventure, but didn’t end well, either. I guess that’s part of growing and moving on, isn’t it?
But…this is where my beloved pets Akasha and Bear came into my life. They were my silver lining.
After this train wreck in my life, I did what all desperate young adults do…I moved back to Miami. I found an efficiency to rent with a friend of mine. This was another situation that did not end well. After a heartbreaking confrontation with the homeowner over my puppy, Bear, I got the hell out of that place and moved back home, adding another 3 miles to my journey.
That move, however, was meant to be only temporary. I got a job working at Barnes & Noble. That’s where I met my friend Coleen who introduced me to her friends who played D&D once a week. Ahhh…the good ole’ days. Eventually, I moved in with them, hoping for this to be a stepping stone to moving away from home and back onto the road of independence. Add another 10 miles.
For one reason or another that I can’t quite remember (or maybe don’t want to), my brother and I ended up moving back home at the same time. 10 miles more…
We enjoyed our time, reunited again. We even shared a room! That was definitely an experience.
So, eventually, my brother hooked up with a girl, and I moved back to central Florida. My friend Lisa offered to let me move into her garage. Young and crazy, I accepted and made the best of my convertible room. Add another 238 miles…
Winnie the Pooh curtains and cobwebs – quite the decor! So my inner designer was insane…what can I say?
Anyway, I got a job at Bennigan’s and taught horseback riding on the weekends. Ryan was a bartender I met at work. Through him, I was fortunate enough to meet some of the best friends of my life, including Candice who I moved in with in Altamonte Springs. Our friends Kerry and Uwe lived in the same apartment complex. And another 38 miles is added to my total.
BFF matchsies – LOL! Man, did we ever have a good time. These were my major growth years. I learned more about life from this group of friends than at any other time up to that point. We were wild and wonderful and lived on the edge. This was when I fell in love with scuba diving, thanks to Uwe.
This was yet another move full of heartbreak and love. Ryan and I parted ways. Uwe and I got together….and moved into a house in Longwood, 7 miles away.
Candice moved with us – it was nice still having her for a roomie. We had a house full of dogs and loved it. But this move, too, had its share of heartbreak. Uwe and I split up, and Candice and I moved in together in a little house in Chuluota, 20 miles away. I spent most of my time diving, working, or partying. Ah, youth.
Our dogs really loved living in the country, and we had another good year living together. Then, our needs split ways, we argued incessantly, and a man got between us. Another heartbreak and another move, this time to a tiny old house in Sanford, 27 miles away.
Living by myself was a new adventure for me. I spent most of my money on scuba, and eventually passed my instructor training course. I even dated my instructor, Brian. Shortly thereafter, we were surprised to learn I was pregnant with twins. Time for another move! This time to Deltona, 16 miles away.
More love than I could ever imagine suddenly filled my world. I was a mother for the first time. Nothing could have prepared me for how fiercely I would protect these sweet little babies. My relationship with Brian was already rocky, and the stress in our lives brought an end to our relationship. More heartbreak, but no move. My little loves and I stayed here, and I found any way I could to make a living and stay home with them. Fortunately, I have great friends who also had kids and a need for a nanny. Life was good.
I kept a constant search on the back burner for a partner to share my life with, but I never shared my life with anyone seriously. Until I met Adam.
Thank you, eHarmony.
This is a picture from our first date – a letterboxing excursion, visit to the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, and frolicking on New Smyrna Beach. I was head over heels in love. Our biggest hurdle was distance – he lived in Palm Bay. So…I moved. Again. 88 miles away. No heartbreak this time.
My little family of three had grown by two. Our “whirlwind romance” included moving, engagement, pregnancy, and marriage all within the first year. It was wonderful!
And then…we moved in with Adam’s Dad in Melbourne 5 miles away. Thanks to the economy, we had financial struggles (just like everyone else), but no more heartbreak – just an amazing love and family.
Welcome to the world, little love! We stayed in Melbourne until we were ready to move back to my home in Deltona. Add another 85 miles to the total.
So, here we are now. Happy, healthy, and together. Someday in the future, we will move again.
I’ve traveled somewhere around 960.5 miles to become the person I am. And I wouldn’t change a single step.