When I returned to the United States after spending 18 out of 24 months overseas with the Army, I vowed to set down roots. And this past week I dug those roots right back up after deciding to move once again.
The good news is that my move is only from Copperas Cove to Killeen, so it should be an easy, quick move.
While the fast-paced lifestyle of the Army is often very exciting, as the years have gone by I’ve longed for the same house to come home to every night.
I’ve spent over half a decade sleeping in barracks, tents, bays, and foxholes. It feels amazing to sleep in the same familiar environment every night.
But the temptation of trading up from a home that was built in the ’80s to a brand-new home has appealed to me more and more as the rental home I live in has started to show its age.
While still fundamentally a quality home that still is one of the nicer homes I’ve lived in, the house is long overdue for new carpet and remodeling throughout.
In only a month I’ll be moving into the new house. It didn’t hit me fully until the contract was signed the other day.
Now every time I walk into a room of my current house, all I see are belongings I’ll have to pack up and load into the back of a moving truck.
As I check on the daily progress of the new house as it is built, it didn’t seem that I’d be moving very soon when it was just a wooden frame.
But now, the house seems to have blossomed overnight as walls and windows have been put up, then siding, and most recently the roof.
Now the house is a daily visual reminder that I’ll once again be shaking up my life and moving to a new home.
At least this time I won’t be moving in to new living quarters in an unfamiliar state, or having to live side-by-side with a complete stranger for a roommate like I did for the last several years.
This peace of mind has been well-deserved after having so many sub-standard living conditions during the last half-decade.
I’ve lived in quarters overrun with mold, slept in more than one open bay with no heat in the middle of winter, and had my share of unsavory roommates.
My most memorable roommate was the one who moved her significant other and her baby into the barracks room.
My breaking point came the morning I had to clear baby toys out of the bathtub before I could shower for work after being kept up all night by a crying baby that wasn’t even my own kid.
My second most memorable roommate was the one who stayed up all night having explicit conversations over the phone with her three boyfriends.
Clearly, rotating around between the three different phone conversations with each boyfriend was a full-time job for her, because it kept us both up all night.
I’m usually a live-and-let-live kind of woman, but I complained both times, prompting a very angry reaction from the first roommate, and a very petulant, “You only have a problem with it because you’re old” reaction from the second roommate.
After those experiences, I welcomed each move that would result in my peace of mind being restored, even if it meant once again uprooting my life.
This time is different, though. There are no miserable experiences that I’m escaping from.
My life is calm now. So why shake things up and move yet again?
Because it will be worth the hours tediously packing everything I own, then unpacking it all over again.
And because change can be good.
Jacqueline Dowland is editor of the Copperas Cove Herald. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org|254-501-7464.