It is that time again, 3 years of living in one place, and I am thinking about where to live next. It begins with waking up with a sharp pang of anxiety, and the need to begin to run, and sprint, then it moves to researching new cities, or countries. It is a desperate feeling, and I am never sure how to address it. The 3 year pattern hits me hard, as soon as I begin to form roots of any kind, bond with my community, or begin to form friendships that go deeper than grabbing a pint, I feel the need to turn the other way and run.
For me, it started with me forming a couple of friendships that began by coordinating outings, then a suggestion of a double date, and then, shopping for shoes. All things that most people would consider normal lives, for me, having always lead a very private life, it seems to open the door to people knowing me a little too well, and then depending on me. My natural instinct is to run, and run far.
When I tell my husband how I am feeling, he laughs, and reminds me that we lived in Ottawa for years, and I never had the same 3 year itch. I explained, I didn’t bond with people the same way, everyone I worked with at Foreign Affairs was exactly the same way. We all bonded over work, but we never actually bonded on how we felt about life outside of work, nor were we ever invited to people’s houses or out for a double date, that would have been weird. In fact, I used to go out with colleagues, have a pint, talk about work, head home, and cuddle and watch a movie with my husband. Fast forward, we now have neighbours that drop by unannounced, we have kids that randomly come over to play unannounced, we get invited out all the time, and have to schedule in alone time. People want to get to know us, and expect there to be a friendship that goes deeper than just a pint…
I know, why the heck would I want to leave all this? I don’t really, but having moved like clockwork, and lived such a private life, I almost feel naked, vulnerable and scared that if I let people in, they might not ever like me, for me. Amazing after all these years, I still have a need to run because of my itchy feet.