Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Change of Address

A friend recently told me that she was going to have to get a new address book because I've moved so much in the past few years. We laughed, then she said, "No really, you're messing up my address book. Stay still for a while."

Well, I have recently become acquainted with her frustration. As I've tried to mail out my Christmas cards (yes, I know it's already the 21st) I've discovered that my address book is completely outdated. I've been making many last minute, I'm-obviously-sending-you-a-Christmas-card phone calls because two friends have moved to different countries, at least six have moved to different states, and many more have changed apartments. My address book now has so many scribbles and arrows that it looks more like a secret treasure map than a neatly organized source of information.

While each of my friends has had very good reasons for moving (starting grad school, changing jobs) when looked at as a whole, our group is overwhelmingly nomadic. Is this just a symptom of being in our mid-twenties, or is there something else going on? For the first time that I can remember, I am extremely happy exactly where I am: in New York City teaching elementary school. But I still have this desire to move, to find the next place or adventure. Should I continue with the trend I've seen in my own address book, or should I follow my friend's advice and just stand still for a minute?

No matter what, I'll be here till June 2007, when I finish graduate school. After that I have no idea where my path will take me. And as I typed that, I wondered if that is the source of all of this: the idea that I am on a path. Paths don't least not in my mind, not when you're 24. And while I'm sorry to expose you to my incessant questioning, I must ask one more: Why am I always thinking about my next step? Whether I decide to stand still or move on, I can't stop obsessing over my options.

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