(The sitting area in my living room)
I have moved 26 times. Many of them have been international, two have been cross country, and the rest of them were from one place to another within state or even city lines, like for college. When you move as much as I do you learn not to worry about how everything is going to fit into your boxes, you just magically make it happen. You throw away a lot of stuff. And, best of all, you get to start over, and over, and over, and over. Clean slates, empty rooms, new ways to move things around and new neighbors to get to know (or try hard to ignore *cough* Fort Collins *cough*).
(The working desk and stereo, along with the 1960's wedding dress I thrifted.)
Because we move so much, I like to take pictures of the places we live in. Sometimes it can seem like I'm just passing through the walls of the building, I never really get to know the place well. I barely remember living in South Lyon, MI - we were only there for a few months. I remember Detroit well because it was so terrifying to move far away from my family for the first time ever, all by myself, with just my carload of stuff into a house with a bunch of sketchy people. I especially remember the locks on the bedroom door, all three of them. I remember the sense of peace and the bright blue carpet of my second place in Detroit, and the weird stuff in the basement and attic, how huge our bedrooms were and the way the grand bathtub's water ran rusty all the time because the hot water tank was so old.
(Vintage umbrellas, books and bicycles)
I vaguely remember houses that blur together from my childhood - the hovel apartments in the United States and the grand marble floors and gated walls in the Philippines, the chickens running around and children underfoot and wash-ladies doing laundry in tin buckets and washboards in the backyard under the hum of electric lines that never worked and the cooing of birds.
My parents have put the house I spent high school in on the market - It has been the place I've lived in the longest. I hope I can make it there to take pictures before they sell it, because I will eventually forget the huge floral couch I slept on. I will forget the feeling of spinning triple pirouettes in the foyer on the wood floor, the subtle sage stripes in the entrance that always welcomed me home. I will miss the Chronicles of Narnia poster in my closet, the sagging cage crinolines on hangers in my half finished closet, the pantry, the Hens and Chicks I planted when I took Horticulture in school that have overrun part of the garden, the part where my dad drilled into the wrong side of the cupboards to put the handles on and left two marks.
So, because I cannot ever remember all the places I have lived in, I have learned to take pictures. No matter how much I love the place I live in, the walls cannot hold me forever - I have had to learn to let go and remain all at once.