When I was 20 I moved to Memphis, TN for a job in a bookstore. I’d never been there before, I was young, unfettered and carefree, so when they offered I said sure why not, and moved there blind. At the time it was me and my cat Rose, with a U-haul bin towed behind my red Chevy Cavalier station wagon. I moved into a railroad apartment and from there eventually into a beautiful house with a screened in porch. During my time in Tennesse I migrated from assistant-managing a big-box bookstore to managing a local independent bookstore, which set me on such a good life-path (and caused my book collection to steadily grow, making subsequent moves progressively heavier). After a few years of this idyllic life, I left Memphis and moved yet again, this time not for carefree reasons, but for family reasons. And this time it was me, my cat Rose, and my dog Dennis in the cab of a U-haul truck. This is how life accrues, I was going back with more than I arrived with.
Making a sad move even harder, it was the middle of July and if I topped 40 miles per hour with the A/C on the truck would overheat, so let me clarify that it was me, my cat Rose, and my dog Dennis in the cab of a truck in the mid-South in the dead of summer. This is how you define ‘hot’ and this was when I learned that cats could pant.
Over the years, I have moved many more times than I can count on my hands and toes but that was perhaps the most grueling move – both physically and emotionally. As I reflect back, seven of my moves have been across state lines. Five of my moves have been work-related moves. None of my moves have involved a man. Well, some of them involved leaving a man. Every one of my moves, excepting the first, have involved book-publisher’s boxes, which I still find to be the sturdiest and best-sized moving boxes of all. Two of my moves involved going from an apartment into a house, and two of my moves involved leaving a house to downsize back into an apartment. A few of my moves were sad, a few of my moves were very hard, a few of my moves were overdue, but overall, most of my moves were just right at the time. Only one of my moves resulted in a broken wine glass and I wish there was a way I could count all the stairs involved in my myriad moves.
I’m philosophic about this next move in the way one is when they are reading a book they’ve bonded with and something monumental happens in the main character’s life, putting them on a new track; that pivotal moment when the book’s plot shifts in a new direction. At the same time I am moving, I am quitting, giving notice to the job that has informed and infused my life for the past ten years. I am doing this so that I can devote all of myself to my new business – my newly opened bookstore – and to my new life. After close to two years of setting this up, of ”bridging both worlds’, I timed it so that, while logistically difficult, I could finally have a simultaneous clean break in both home and career. This particular move involves a sloughing off of emotional baggage.
During the bookstore’s construction last summer, our Chinese contractor told us that eight is a ‘good luck number’, and that he was glad we had the number eight in our street address. Eight’s continuous loop symbolizes how business and wealth largely depend on ongoing cycles to accrue and fulfill their manifestation. This move is the eighth move that involves a fresh start, and it is my next chapter, but I doubt it is my last move.