Hi, my name is Petra, and I’m a moveaholic. I haven’t lived in the same house for more than two years since I was 13. I went to six different schools before graduating high school. I’m just now starting on my tenth city of residence in only 22 years.
Some of this isn’t my fault: my mom is also a natural nomad and instilled the habit in us early with the dinnertime game of “Where In The World (Should We Move)?” (The final answer was almost always Addis Ababa. I think my parents just enjoyed saying the name.)
But some of it is my fault, I'll admit. Moving keeps me from stagnating: from growing bored, of course, but more than that, from staying the same. I love the potential inherent in every move. Each new place is a rebirth of sorts, offering an opportunity for reinvention and change. When I move, I’m totally anonymous and anything is possible. As I packed up my things for California, I thought to myself, this time I can be someone who can talk to strangers. Someone who likes to write. Someone who rides a bike. Someone who has hobbies outside of school. Someoen who isn't so relentlessly stingy. Someone who can wear high heels without falling over. Someone responsible enough to have a checking and a savings account.
So here I am in California, transforming away. In the six days I’ve been here, I’ve gotten stuck in traffic on a freeway, eaten overpriced Sicilian food whose ingredients I didn’t even recognize, experienced an earthquake, walked a perfectly groomed poodle through some of the priciest real estate in the Bay Area, and typed this blog entry on a Mac. I think, all in all, I've reinvented myself so well they should just go ahead and give me California residency right now. I haven't yet changed so much that I wouldn't appreciate the cheaper tuition.