If you are in the military, moving is a given. A fact of life. And actually, it is a really good part of military life….most of the time. (Particularly once everyone is happily settled on the other end.)
Long ago, when all the other military wives were receiving their gear, I must have been late that day. There is one basic military supply item that I did not get issued. This pivotal piece of gear keeps Military spouses plugging along quite nicely when it comes to moving. It is the Transitional Adjustment and Change Accelerator—TACA for short. (I’ve been in the military long enough; I can make up a few of my own acronyms!) Some gals have the TACA and seem to breeze through all aspects of transitions involved with moving. I am still waiting for mine to arrive in the mail.
I guess I have been blessed with the Ornery Moving Hormone (OMH). You see, the sight of cardboard boxes on the curb, moving vans in driveways often makes me feel just a little nauseous. Seasoned military spouses (22 years) like myself, are NOT supposed to feel this way; we are supposed to be enthusiastic, energetic, and anxiety-free movers and shakers. Just letting you know that in this department, I am not the model military spouse! But for me, moving boxes make me feel queasy, even when I am excited about where I am going. Go figure.
I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I think some of this orneriness is because I don’t like the process of change, and I don’t like all of the work involved with said change. You see, I love my corner of the world, even though when I first got here I didn’t think I would ever like it. (Evidence of more OMH at work)
It usually takes about 6 months of getting settled for that to pass. Once adjusted to the change of moving across the world, I have loved living in Japan. Now that is is time to go, I just want to pack up all the people and places that I love about this place and take them with me. Do you think the Japanese would mind if I take just one little beach with me? Or how about a restaurant?
Don’t get me wrong, I am looking forward to moving back to Virginia. This will be my first time EVER moving back somewhere I have lived before. Most moves, I am lucky if I know one person in the new place. I am thrilled about reconnecting with some wonderful friends that have enriched my life in many ways. I am really excited about moving back to a loved neighborhood and borrowing a cup of sugar from my neighbor Barb. I am thrilled to go back to a community where my neighbors feel like family. My memory and my family photo albums are filled with treasured experiences with these dear friends and neighbors. I count my blessings.
But, at the same time, that ornery I-don’t-want-to-move hormone is letting loose its unwanted presence in my system. It dredges up old insecurities that seem to go hand in hand with changing addresses. I think it comes down to the issue that I want to have my cake and eat it too. I want to stay, but I am excited to go. I want to go, but I don’t want to give up the things I love about this corner of the world. I know that there will be blessings, growth, and good things on the other end, but I don’t want to walk through the sometimes painful adjustments of getting the under-twenty-crowd happily settled and involved in new friendships, schools, and activities. It will be great to be closer to family, but I don’t want to unpack, paint, hang, organize, and sort on the other end. See this is the Ornery Moving Hormone gearing up for a good ride!
As with many things in life, we cannot have it all. In case you haven’t noticed, it is impossible to be both here and there at the same time! We cannot experience the benefits of change without the letting go of what must be left behind. So come June, I will box up my souvenirs from Japan, add many memories to my scrapbook, and head back to the States, knowing that there are just some things you can’t pack.
If you want to read a great post from a friend of mine who definitely has the TACA (Transitional Adjustment and Change Accelerator) click here.