Sunday, December 11, 2011

Spiral Notebook Sunday: Monday, December 27, 2004

In this Sunday's offering, I ramble about some of the lingering effects of a childhood of Army Bratdom.


Monday, December 27, 2004

Finding myself moved to a new location or in the process of moving is a recurring theme in my dreams in the past few years. The only universal element in the dreams is the feeling of desperation and regret at being somewhere new. Whether I've made the decision to move or it's somehow understood that the decision was made for me, I'm always certain it's a terrible mistake. The anxiety of those moments is often intense enough to wake me up or instigate a change in the setting or circumstances of the dream.

It's amusing to me that my dreams seem to be addressing a decades-old anxiety (moving around, especially at the whim of the military bureaucracy) and at the same time reminding me not to take the stability of my current life for granted--even if that stability is largely geographical. As frustrated as I sometimes get with the circumstances of my life, there is no place I'd rather be--not merely because of the trauma and upheaval of moving, but because there is so much to leave behind. Family and friends first, but the comfort of a familiar area can't be overstated, especially to my Army Brat inner child. I often find myself reveling in the simplest things: for instance, I know four or five routes to get from here to the grocery store by car and at least that many by foot. It's a rare thing for someone to mention a street in town or a road in the lower half of the county that I can't picture immediately in my mind and tell you five aways to get there.

I have been here so long that I don't even have to think about where I'm going or how to get there. It has become ingrained, reflexive--a part of who I am. It is a sense of belonging built not only of people, but of place. I would imagine that people who had the luxury of growing up all in one place would be prone to take it for granted and even to feel stifled by it or resentful of it. I appreciate it to an almost geeky degree--I'm a total dork about it, if you must know.


  1. You are so right. The comfort of a familiar area cannot be overstated. I have been in this house now for over 25 years. I love my little town and I cannot go anywhere without running into good people. Sometimes I imagine moving to the ocean's edge but I would have a hard time leaving this comfort zone.

  2. We moved a lot when I was growing up, too. No military, just the endless search for the 'perfect job'. I love where we live now, we've been here 5 years and I plan to stay till I die.

  3. This made me think about something so simple that I take for granted...thanks!

  4. I moved a lot as a child too. As an adult, I've been in Denver for 20 years and finally have that ability to which you refer. If traffic is bad, I know at least 3 alternative routes to get me where I'm going anywhere in the city. It makes it feel like home.

  5. Youngest Sister12/14/11, 3:57 PM

    I'm missing that now! I'm sure it won't be long til I find my way, but it's a struggle to need the GPS everyday!