The act of settling

Sometimes I find words I once wrote that never made it off the drafting page, but still strike a nerve, and still need to be said. This is one of those cases.


The 3rd of May, 2013 |||
just under three weeks before graduation

“I’m ready to settle down, settle in, just settle for a while.

No, I’m not talking about relationships. We won’t freak anyone out — and by anyone, I mean me.

I’m talking about living quarters, about friends, about interior decorating, about jobs, about neighbors, about ministry, about church.

I’m talking about the frustrating reality of college life — the reality marked and pocked by transition after transition after packing up and moving after transition.

I’m tired of moving every five months. Of packing up everything I have every May to switch homes, only to pack everything back up and come back three months later. I’m tired of having to unpack everything, setting up home once again, every year. Packing and moving, packing and flying, unpacking again and again, ad nauseum.

I’m ready to be in the same place for longer than a semester. Yes, I’ve been in Chicago for four years – but not really. Every five months I head back to Florida, either for a month or three. Just when I settle in there, get used to living at home again, get used to being surrounded by family, used to having a (more or less) stocked kitchen at my disposal, I have to leave. Come back to school. Reorient mind and self and habits to an entirely different culture and situation.

I’ve very tired of it.”

Now |||
just under a year after graduating

Well, I did it. I stayed in the same place, sans a few days in October and March and a week at Christmas, since June 29, when I moved into my first apartment.

That was ten months ago. Has it been enough?

I might be moving again, in July. This little apartment has been a really nice first step. A little bit janky (read: a lot) but nice. I liked it. My roommate and I occasionally commend it for being a good little apartment (and not falling apart, at least not completely, you know?)

But it’s an hour commute to work, and it feels like time to move on again — even if it’s just to a different neighborhood.

Except, I hate that it’s time to move on. Come on: moving? I hate moving. Or at least, I’ve hated moving before, and that was without furniture.

But I probably will. We’ll figure it out, and I’ll be calling in every friend and favor in the Cook county area (which means I should really start earning favors. Who wants to come over for dinner tonight?).

But I haven’t completely forgotten how I felt a year ago. How desperately I longed to forego boxes and bins entirely for a while. How bad of a homebody I was for months after finally moving in, how much I preferred being in my own space to doing just about anything else, for awhile.

With the knowledge of how strongly I felt about it then, it surprises me that it changed.

But it has, and I’ve even felt myself beginning the moving process, just a little bit: not bothering to have small things fixed, deciding not to hang new curtain rods or a gallery wall just now, waiting to buy a new table till I see where I’ll be.


But there’s still a piece of that longing from May 3. And it’s mostly on account of how I’ve mentally started that moving process. It irks me that I won’t put up curtain rods, and leaves me unsettled that I can’t really add too much too my decorating without knowing what sort of space I’ll be in next. To be fair, it’s better on my bank account (especially waiting on the table), but the in-betweenness brings up those year-old feelings of unsettledness.

I’m not sure what settled will be for me. I’m not certain what I’ll want it to look like down the road. Whether, after a little more time has passed, I’ll love moving around, or if I’ll continue to tire of it and want to be in one place for twenty years. I don’t know how this will play out with the temptation of traveling, and without even really knowing what I want my career to look like ten years hence, I don’t know how that will play in either.

So here’s the usual lesson: I’m here right now, so I should… make the most of it? But really, I’m not going to put up curtain rods, and I don’t completely hate having an excuse to not have my perfect interior design yet. So I’m not sure what making the most of it should actually be.

Unsettled probably isn’t a bad thing. It’s not quite akin to discontent, and let’s be honest: unsettled is probably the norm for 23-year olds of my generation. We’ll figure it out, I’ll figure it out,  just not today.


And in the meantime, I was serious: who wants to help me move come over for dinner?

4 thoughts on “The act of settling

  1. I will! There’s a huge possibility I’ll be moving back this summer and I need favors too. Lol. Any chance you’ll need a new roommate? I’m shopping for people to live with.

    And I completely understand the moving thing. I hate moving after I move for a while and then after I sit still for too long I get antsy. It’s terrible.


    • YOU MIGHT COME BACK? That is definitely the most exciting thing I’ve heard all day. …Which isn’t saying much at 8:30 am, so let’s go with “all week.”

      Keep me updated! My weak upper body strength and sub-par furniture moving skills will be yours on asking.


    • Also, I responded to this on the dashboard and apparently only saw less than half of it.

      I think my roommate and I are staying together, but we haven’t found a place or nailed down definites. When are you moving back? I can at least keep my ears open.

      And sitting still for too long is the worst. I can’t tell if you meant metaphorically, but I’m going with literal here. It’s the worst.


  2. Pingback: Recent Posts | Jenna Kristine

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