The Blog

Why When I Talk About Moving Home All the Time I'm Also Talking About My Relationships

You do something enough, it becomes a pattern, a pathway. Your brain knows it, and will happily re-tread that route every single time, even when you know it's not helping.

I've moved home quite a few times.

In fact I've sort of lost count.

I know it's in the thirties, but after the thirtieth time I just stopped counting, and accepted that from now on the number was just going to be known as "a lot".

I've got a feeling that all this moving about isn't great for my sense of stability and security, which can on occasion, be a little rocky.

Also though, there's a bit of me that's just thinking I'm getting too old for all this now. Increasingly there's an inner voice that's saying "Kid, you need to take it easy more, you need a place to live that's more permanent than six months, you need to sort it out."

This is the same voice that also, from time to time will be like "You definitely need to drink more of that wine and stay out all night because what if something happens and you're not there and it's awesome!" but every now and then it does talk sense.

I'm talking about the place to live thing here, just in case that's not clear.

I don't know, trouble is, after a while of doing something, that pattern almost becomes part of life. I accept that I have to move all the time because that's what I do. People are always telling me "moving again eh? Bet you're used to it now eh?" and that's it exactly.

I am used to it. I'm a pro at loading and driving a van, I can pack like a boss, and when I'm between houses, I can live out of a suitcase for as long as it takes, even if we're talking months.

When I go away I can fit everything I need into a tote bag, and this comes from all the times I've had to change my address. My life is transitory, every moment is temporary, and I am always on the move.

It is so tiring sometimes, and yet it's also exhilarating, which is where the problem arises. I am used to it, and I also sort of like it. I want to stay somewhere for longer than six, ten, twelve months, but I'm afraid if I do I'll just get restless, and want to move on, see what else is out there, keep the movement going, not stagnate.

And yes, I think I'm talking about relationships there as well.

See, the thing is, when I get into relationships I tend to throw myself at them, it's all intense and full on, mainly because I'm trying to fight against the same restless urge.

My slightly haphazard thinking means that my thoughts usually goes along the lines of if I get involved hard at the start it will make it harder for me to disentangle myself, and thus less likely that I'll want to as well.

I'm sure you'll all agree this is the best plan ever.

I've done this quite a bit. I did it last year, along with a few other insecurities including "this is my last chance at a relationship so I must throw myself into it at all costs" and the counter intuitive, but seemingly rational to my brain, "You're behaving like I'm being too intense so I'm going to play it cool and then be even more intense every time I do see you, to make up for all the times I've not seen you."

Yeah, I'm a real keeper, I know.

I know I do this. Like I've said before, you do something enough, it becomes a pattern, a pathway. Your brain knows it, and will happily re-tread that route every single time, even when you know it's not helping.

With relationships and where I live, the patterns are the same. I want to put down roots, I want to feel secure, I want to feel something more than the restless urge.

So, what can you do?

If I was in touch with my inner wiser self I'd probably say something about change being hard but worth it, and how through self-retrospection we can discover hitherto untold truths about how our minds work. This would all be true I guess, along with obvious, and a little patronising.

Instead, I think I'm just going to be a little more aware. More aware of how I come across and more aware of what I do.

Maybe I'll try and stop every now and again, to just enjoy the moment.

I'm guessing my inner wiser self would be saying something about little steps making big changes. There'd probably be something about butterflies making hurricanes as well, because that's solid gold happening right here when it comes to wise words.

Of course, despite being obvious, and meaninglessly profound, there is a truth in this all. Small changes do often start something.

Sometimes that's all it takes.