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I’m a wanderer.

I have recently embraced this fact about myself and love the experiences I’ve had because of it. But with moving and going from place to place for indefinite spans of time, many things need to be surrendered, particularly one’s own definition of “comfort”. You have to adapt, and adapt hard and fast, and deal with other people, speeds of living, and personal environments.

Couch surfing requires balance.

Probably the “cleanest” move I’ve ever had was when I moved to San Francisco. My friend Bernadette housed me in her tiny studio for 3 months until I finally got a job and a place to live, in a very loud place in the Haight. No fighting. No drama… it was fine.

The messiest move was when I moved to Denver a few years ago with my then-boyfriend. Why we moved to Denver is a loooooooooooooooooong story. But the madness, in short, is as follows: I was in graduate school in South Carolina at the time (another long fucking story) and we rented a van, which I drove, and my ex drove his car, and we drove all our shit for 30 hours or so to Colorado. We hadn’t slept in 18 hours and were running on solid adrenaline. We also had about $100 between the two of us, no jobs, and knew no one in Denver with the exception of the people we were going to live with.

As it turns out, within a day of our being there we’d walked into a shitstorm situation that, to this day, I still don’t really understand, but in short we were not as welcome in the house as we were led to believe. We spent 2 weeks living in the basement, with everything around us in boxes and wrapped in plastics and shoved into bags. We were looking for work probably 14 hours a day, while also looking for an apartment, and we got both very quickly, thank God.

Moving from the basement to the apartment we got in downtown Denver is still a bit of a blur to me but it was another challenge in and of itself, for not long after our moving into the place I fell ill with a death flu that made me puke blood and lose 20lbs and I was bedridden for nearly a month. I spent another month immensely weak and all cracked out. It. SUCKED. My ex spent pretty much all day out, working 2 jobs since I was unable to help support us, and I was in this room for days on end, with no tv or internet or anything, falling in and out of sleep, in a cramped-up box-filled apartment. I felt like one of the smushed cardboard boxes, needless to say. 

Clearly, everything turned out fine. When I got a job I really liked we were quite happy in that apartment, which, when organized, was bright, sunny, smelled nice, was quiet … we had a nice neighbor … all was candycanes during those days.

Of the many things I learned during the WEIRD 2 years we spent in Denver, one was that sometimes you really do have to faceplant — emotionally, financially, mentally, physically — to hit the reset button. 

What’s your crazy moving story?

About womeninstrangeplaces

I am a writer and artist from New York City. I live in Oslo, Norway. I dedicate my work to promoting literacy, experimentation and expression, women's empowerment, and awareness against sexual violence. I do my best to do what my gut tells me at all times, and on weekends, I go dancing.

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