I remember moving right after law school from my first (crappy, cheap) apartment to a fun, chic, urban place that felt like when I moved in, I would be somebody. The new apartment was in the City right above a deli and had exposed brick walls and a window seat. I would sit on that seat in the Fall with the leaves turning colors right at eye level, and the cool breeze would waft in bringing with it the smell of breakfast and smoked ribs. I would hear the tinkle of coffee cups being set down on saucers as people meandered their way through a Sunday brunch. I remember feeling as if I didn't belong, and yet also understanding where it was I really wanted to be.

I moved from that apartment when I got my first real job as an attorney. I moved away from my hometown but more than just leaving home, I was leaving behind the glimpse of who I thought I was going to be in my urban apartment. I was choosing instead to see what lay ahead in a city so different from where I was, it was hard to believe they had anything in common except being a part of the United States.

Those two moves were just the beginning of my adult life, but they helped me see very clearly what a move to a new place can do: infuse with you a spirit, with a sense, with a whisper of possibility of what it is you'd like your future to look like. But what also became clear is that a move can't change who you are or make you someone you're not.  Moving through life, moving from city to city or house to house or here to there, makes us really look at who we are inside, makes us decide not just where we want to be, but who we want to be.

When we move, we are saying that we are taking a chance or mixing things up or deciding that staying put isn't necessarily the right choice right now. But what the move itself will teach us and what the journey there will make evident is that you can be who you want to be wherever you are. You can stay or go, but soon enough you will find that what it is you hold dear, and the truth that you seek, may be right beside you always, regardless of where it is you lay your head.

After all, this is the life.


  1. Again it's like you are connected to me in some way. I have been moving my stuff from an apartment in a part of NY that I have lived in for 15 years up to a new neighborhood that is new and unfamiliar. The movers will come on the 27th to move the furniture and that will be that. I will be living in a new place, in a new area of the city, surrounded by different people, different stores, different restaurants.

    Thank you for sharing this post and again giving me comfort and something to ponder as I mix things up. XO

  2. Allison, you have a gift of helping others. Many folks believe that escaping and moving away is the answer, but unfortunately, we seldom leave the problems behind; they follow us wherever we reside.


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