I have moved often in my life. I’m sure some would say far too much. I get bored easily, I abhor the very nature of anything that resembles routine, and thrive on new experiences that open my mind and challenge my heart. For those of you who are “nomadic” by nature, you understand this feeling of restlessness. It’s one that eats into your daily life like a small rodent, gnawing through the hard shell of a nut to seek the pleasures inside, only to immediately hunger for another fresh nut once that one has been consumed.
I recently moved away from Atlanta, Georgia where my husband, daughter, son and I, had lived for almost fourteen years. He and I relocated there when we were young and hopeful, climbing the corporate ladder and naive enough to think that we would actually make it to the top. Over the years, I formed some wonderful friendships in northern Atlanta with women whom I care about dearly today. Friends who have taken care of my children when I’ve been sick, who have stayed late into the night to help clean up my house at the end of a party, and who have picked up my children from school when I got too caught up in the frantic existence of that over-achievers life that I sometimes fall into.
Yet despite these more than handful of close-knit friendships, I knew in my heart that living in Georgia was never the “right” life for me. How did I know? I truly cannot say, other than through that small gut feeling inside, that feeling of constant emptiness within that whispered “there’s something moooore…”, this despite the overabundance of activities and life, and wonderful people all around me.
So one day out of the blue, I told my husband that it was “now are never”, that with two virtual careers that can work anywhere, a rising kindergardener, and a restless woman inside our home, it was time for us to move. We uprooted our children from their home and school. We talked up the advantages of starting over, the thrill of meeting new friends, and the excitement of moving someplace new. We built it up so much, there were days that I wondered how reality could ever meet up to the expectations we had created, to the grand stories of a new life that we had told.
Yet, somehow, some way, it did. We moved to a beautiful place called Daniel Island, in South Carolina, where other transients like ourselves who were seeking a simpler, better life, welcomed us with open arms and warm smiles. Our children have already made wonderful friends, we ride our bikes back and forth to school every day, and I can smell the sweet salty air rolling off the Wando River. It’s an ocean smell that’s reminiscent of my childhood home in Maine and puts a smile on my face, knowing that I am back near the water where I belong.
Do I miss my friends in Atlanta? More than anything. Yes, I have already met new friends here, and so have my children, and life here on Daniel Island feels near perfect every day. The only mar in this new-found life is the absence of those friends who have known me for years, who have helped me when I was in need, and picked me up when I was down… those friends who knew me well enough to understand that although they would miss me, they were happy for me to find what was missing, to find my contentment.