When I married my husband all those years ago, I don't think I could have even fathomed the impact the military lifestyle would have on me. Growing up, I moved twice when I was too young to remember, and another time when I was about 6, into the home my parents still live in 30 years later. When someone asks me where home is, I easily blurt out "Atlannuh" in the way you say it when you're from there and not just passing through.
Life looks so different now. In our 14 years of marriage, my husband and I have moved 7 times with the 8th move a few short months away. Our kids were born in two different states and in their short lives, they've moved as many times as we have. They stumble a bit when people ask where they're from because for them, it's not synonymous with home...just where we called home for that period of time.
As we creep towards the flurry of yet another PCS season, I can't help but think about how even though it can be stressful, moving is the easy part...maybe because it feels almost routine.
Find out we're moving...purge...prep...pack.
Sometimes there are a few wrinkles thrown in there, but for the most part, I've gotten the physical logistics of moving down to a science. We stress about moves, but it turns out moving is really the easy part...it's everything else that's tough.
It's searching for the right home. A place that, though likely imperfect, feels like the perfect fit for us. A place where our kids run through the front door and already see themselves there—placing imaginary furniture and planning future family movie nights or slumber parties with friends. A street so full of kids playing that I can barely get to the driveway before the kids ask to hop out of the car to join the fun.
It's saying goodbye. Not just to the friends who made this place feel like home, but to that settled feeling it sometimes takes so long to find. It's knowing that starting over is imminent. That once again our kids will be new at school and it will be a while before I walk into a room where faces look familiar.
It's the learning and the searching. Finding a new church home, new hang out spots and favorite restaurants. It's using the GPS to get everywhere because no route is ingrained in my memory.
...and yet, the hard parts seem to bring such opportunity.
The opportunity to make a new house feel like home as we make new memories as a family.
The chance to meet incredible new people and grow in familiarity and comfort.
The excitement of exploring a new city and finding new favorites.
So if you're feeling all of those mixed emotions, you're definitely not alone. And if you're moving this summer, I hope that even when the tough stuff feels overwhelming, you're able to see the amazing opportunities waiting for you in the new place you and your family will call home.