Wandering Soul

December 12, 2013

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french mailbox
While cleaning out my grandmother’s house, I came across an old invitation she had kept all these years. It was to my college graduation in Columbia, Missouri. She had kept the invitation and the envelope it was mailed in – so, when I turned it over, I saw, in my own handwriting, my last college address.

I couldn’t have told you what that address was if you had asked me, or the name of the apartment, but, I do remember that summer. There are things from that summer I can still smell and taste even before I have time to blink to think about it.

In all the shuffle to get things moved out of the house and put somewhere, I had forgotten I took that invitation with me, so when I stumbled on it again the other day, it surprised me yet again.

I started thinking about how many addresses I’ve had in my life. I made a list.

Fourteen. I’ve had fourteen addresses in 43 years.

I looked at the list and realized I’d lived in four houses from birth to graduating college, four different college locations across two states (either dorm, apartments or sorority house), my own apartment after college, and five different locations as a married adult. Some were longer than others, obviously, but it occurred to me that this seems like an awful lot of places to have lived in just 43 years? Maybe?

I’ve always known I’ve had this odd combination of a pinch of homebody + wandering soul that is subject to fits of restlessness. I was just wondering if it was because of my list of homes – or that’s what may have caused parts of that list to exist in the first place.

In any case, it was fun to make that list and see all the old names and street names again. Each place filled my memory with quick flashes of images – some were rather surprising as to what the first thing I remembered was. A few made me giggle, most made me smile. Only one made me roll my eyes, so, I’ll count that as a win.

There was something poetic about that list. The idea of how much has been collected and packed and moved – or left behind – along the way. I get to pack and move one more time in the upcoming months and I’m looking forward to the last part as much as anything – if only to spend a few more quiet moments with all the things and moments I get to unpack there, too.

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One Response to “Wandering Soul”

  1. Alison Says:

    on the (relative, months-long) eve of going back to one of my most beloved addresses for a visit (austria, next summer), i can relate with how that odd note, scribble, photo, number, smell…you name it…can bring up a flood of memories. it can make you consider who you are (wandering+homebody), or it can ground you in that understanding.

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