My life is punctuated by periods of restlessness.
As a child of a military service member, I moved at least every two years until I was 16. Change became an expectation, however difficult.
I did not realize how formative this experience was until I was at university. I would rearrange my dorm room every few months, moving my bed and desk and bookshelf as if they were made of Lego.
My roommates would ask why I did this, especially when the new arrangement made less sense than the previous one, but I couldn’t answer them. These alterations weren’t made for any reason except to meet a need for alteration, a boredom with the mundanity of familiarity.
This continued when I got my first apartment, and later, when my husband moved in with me. No matter where we lived, I’d want to rearrange the living room, the bedroom, the shared office. To this day, I struggle with leaving things as they are in our house, desperate to make new the place we have lived for nearly three years.
This has even permeated my online dwelling, as evidenced in my constantly changing of domains, user names on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, the nearly dozen email addresses I manage — it’s like my mind refuses to be content even with what’s working.
I am always anticipating the next move, the next opportunity to start over.
Last night, I bleached my hair nearly white. I have done this several times over the course of my adult life, nearly always at some critical point — a new job, a major swing of depression, a significant move. This time, I’m not sure what prompted it other than a need to feel in control of the body that so often fails me.
Who am I without this desire for difference? Will I ever be satisfied with what is in my hands, in my chest, in my bones? Or will I always be seeking something to erase the slate, reinvent the reflection staring back at me?