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Every time I move, which is quite often, I go through the same process. I move everything in and the first thing I unpack is my bedding. As I make the bed, surrounded by boxes, furniture out-of-place, and suitcases, I hear my mother’s words in my head: “make the bed first so that you know that you have somewhere to sleep at the end of the day, everything else can get unpacked slowly.” Every time.

When I was little, we moved around a lot. My childhood is speckled with strange furniture that come with apartments, boxes, moving men, and shipping containers. Frequently, we had two weeks notice that we were moving. It was just what we did.

Despite all the moving I’ve done on my own in my adult life, I have very mixed feelings about moving. On one hand, the stress and upheaval is torture. The in between phase of packing up one place and unpacking in another is mind-numbing. Then, there’s the nesting phase where you try to make the new place feel like home. Getting used to new sounds, smells, organizations, and quirks is part of the territory.

On the other hand, moving is always a fresh start. It can be very cathartic to purge unnecessary stuff that is acting like baggage, weighing you down. It’s an excuse to re-organize your life into drawers, cabinets, closets. It’s the chance to wipe the slate clean and live the way you want to. It’s very exciting in this regard.

I’m writing this entry from my new apartment in Tel Aviv. Although I haven’t officially moved in yet, tonight I am sleeping here for the first time so, I brought over a suitcase with the bare essentials: bedding, towel, soap, toilet paper, clothes for tomorrow. This will be the slowest move I’ve ever made, taking approximately 2 months to slowly move in and find furniture. As I lay here on my bed, in my very empty apartment, I can hear the traffic passing by on the street and I am reminded that I’ve arrived finally. For 11 years I’ve been dreaming of moving to the city and here I am. In my city. The feeling is unreal.

The walk over from the bus stop was filled with people in restaurants, cafes, riding bikes, walking dogs, sitting on benches talking, or just walking to their next destination. So much life! I just want to drink it all in.