I wondered what that feeling of unease was deep down in my soul. I had all the basic necessities and recognized I had a very good life in Los Angeles. But there was an itch and I longed to scratch it.
I understand it’s not easy for a lot of people to pick up and move. But it’s in my blood. I was born an Army Brat. And that’s a really strange thing. It’s a unique sub-culture. You are a nomad, you are generally very social but might not feel like you quite fit in and there could be something more tugging at you at all times. You collect friends like seashells on the shore and you really do treasure them, you hold on tight in case you don’t make any new friends the next place you move. Of course, back in the ’70’s, ’80’s and ’90’s I was a letter writer. That was our only choice. No email or Skype or Instagram to keep the friendships alive. I had pen pals and I wrote so many letters I literally got a rubber band full of letters each day the summer I turned 13 and had to live with my grandmother on Long Island while we were between moves. I still have those letters.
As a child I moved seven times and attended seven different schools before the 9th grade and prior to moving into our house 13 years ago, I had never lived in one place for more than four years. We lived in Germany, Indiana, New Jersey, Maryland, Northern California, Northern Virginia, West Point, New York and spent months at a time at my grandmother’s in between Army bases. I moved to Villanova, PA bouncing between apartments I couldn’t afford, I did the same in Los Angeles for a few years. I tried to figure out what I was doing with my young life and ventured back east to work in New York and lived in a brownstone with 3 other strangers in Hoboken, New Jersey, then I spent a year or so at my parent’s house in Connecticut. But I yearned for the warmth and the sunshine of California and I believed I might be in love (I was right!). I love Los Angeles and all the creative energy – everyone you meet has a side project they are working on – a script, a new business, a TV show they are pitching. It’s a very inspiring place to be! But 13 years is a very long time for me in one home so it’s time for a big change.
When people ask how my kids will feel about our move to Spain – I sometimes shrug my shoulders. And maybe that seems cold. But they will be okay. There will be hard days. I know it. I lived them. Finding someone to sit with at lunch, or finding a partner for a science project was stressful when you are new. But you work it out. You find your people. You don’t necessarily conform to a group because you have to or because it’s what you’ve always known. I think it helps you grow as an individual and can instill confidence which may not be evident at first but will be important in the future. I want my kids to be able to sit alone at the cafeteria if need be. It’s okay to be alone as long as you are not feeling lonely – and there is indeed a difference. Not every day is going to be amazing and they will have each other to help them through. My siblings are my best friends because we relied on each other when the going got tough. Of course there is the language barrier but we are making that a team project and the whole family is studying up.
We are in this journey to Spain together and we will support and help each other along the way. I’m excited that our family is on board to help me scratch my itch and my husband is fired up for something entirely new. I hope someday the kids will see this experience as a gift. Hopefully this adventure will open doors to new relationships and friendships we would never have known. I can’t wait and hopefully I won’t screw up the kids too much.