When I lived in New York City, I moved at least once a year–if not twice a year–the entire time I was there (2005-2010). It sounds rather appalling for most people, since I believe it’s a universal opinion that moving sucks the worst of the worst.

It’s definitely a special challenge doing it in a crammed urban city of more than eight million people. Navigating a 14-foot moving truck all through the boroughs, including on the FDR, isn’t something I would readily wish on anyone.

The upside of all that self moving is that I got to experience a bunch of different neighborhoods. I lived in three different boroughs in five years. Out of the ones I lived in, the Upper East Side and Astoria (Queens) were my favorites. In another life where I remained a transplant New Yorker and had lots of expendable cash, I would totally live in the West Village or Greenwich Village.

Moving-SnoopyThe downside is that I and several of my friends were moving my things on an annual basis.

I suppose I should look at this objectively and think how awesome it is that I have friends who moved me more than once. My best friend moved me in and out of the apartment I shared with an ex for one year. It practically became a tradition that every Presidents’ Day, she’d trundle up to New York from DC, roll up her sleeves, and move my shit from Point A to Point B. I also had another set of friends that helped me move twice–what a gift!

I became expert at sending out moving announcements. (And let’s face it, I adored “getting” to do that, since I’m a card and stationery addict.) I also learned that there is a huge difference between movers who know how to pack your items safely and those who do not. I definitely lost a few things due to poorly stacked boxes in a truck.

Fast forward to present day. Some of you have read about our trials and tribulations in the former house we resided in when we moved from New York to Illinois. To save you time, let’s just say the house served its purpose and quickly lost any luster it held at one point.

We moved to an apartment complex where we have a townhome last July. We really agonized over that decision, because we loved having a backyard for our sweet dog and didn’t have to share any walls of any kind.

For the most part, our move was a smart idea. Where we live is in a quiet area, it’s safe, on a bus line, and we don’t have to worry about mowing the lawn or fixing things that break in the apartment.

Unfortunately, some kind of bad karma on my or Kevin’s part reared its ugly head and we have suffered with the worst neighbors me or Kevin has ever had in our lives. If it wasn’t their loud beagle, who had separation anxiety, barking and whining for hours on end when his owners were gone, the neighbors have thoroughly enjoyed testing the boundaries of human decency by blasting music, accompanied by whooping, hollering, and screaming epithets at us, all taking place throughout the work week and weekends, no matter what we, management, or the police say about the noise. (It should be noted that alcohol and cigarettes are the basis of their existence.)

The fantastic news is that they will be moving sometime in June or July, so this is short-lived (if you call twelve months short-lived).

Unfortunately, the anxiety of living next door to such gems has given rise to the moveaholic in me. I have gotten a serious itch to ditch and just get the hell out of here. It’s totally impractical and illogical, especially since these folks ARE moving. The chances of the next neighbors being this bad are about as great as my winning the next $500M Powerball lottery. I try to reassure myself with that.

But fighting my inner Cher-in-Mermaids is not an easy battle to endure.

mermaids film 2(Does anyone remember that movie, Mermaids? Seriously one of my all-time faves. Cher, Winona Ryder, and Christina Ricci are a small family unit who move at the whim of the mother, Cher, anytime anything makes her uncomfortable and she just bolts. Dreamy Michael Schoeffling plays the love interest, in case you need any further impetus to watch this movie.)

Naturally, in the wake of recent events with our special next door friends, I have already looked at homes for rent in our area, if for no other purpose than to soothe the runner in me who wants to flee this place and never look back.

Winning out this time are factors like knowing that this is short-term, this too shall pass, it completely doesn’t make financial sense to move right now, and quite honestly, there isn’t much of a selection of better options. The only way this situation would improve is if a bag of money fell from the sky and we could move into a home that we bought ourselves.

Barring that miracle, I am working in each moment to remind myself of the following:

Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment. – Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

To that end, I hope to be an even more evolved person for having endured and triumphed through one of the more negative experiences we’ve had in the last three years, including winning out over my instinct to run when things get rough and uncomfortable.

I’ll tame this moveaholic yet.


  1. Good luck! Glad to hear from you again! 🙂

  2. I was so happy to see a “Zoe Says” update in my inbox! I just read parts of this post out loud to my boyfriend who has fallen asleep next to me (he was dozing to begin with, don’t worry) because the stuff you write about is uncannily a lot like the things I think about and go through! I’m still in NYC however, but am also a moveaholic (a couple years ago I moved twice within Astoria in a span of 6 months…and I’m currently in a different borough). Looking forward to reading more 🙂

    • Grace, thank you so much! Wanna hear something eery? When I lived in Astoria, I moved twice within six months, as well. I moved about five hundred feet down the street from one apartment to another. I hope you’re loving where you’re living right now! Thanks again for reading and commenting.

  3. saintclarence27 says:

    First of all, I must say that I’m ecstatic that you’re posting again. Secondly, this is a very well-written post that describes what is currently going on very well. When this apartment is quiet, it’s awesome. When it’s not, I think both of us are extraordinarily aware of exactly what is wrong with apartment living – you don’t have control. I would like to control the noise volume, you know? That said, it’s insane to me that people are non apologetic and vindictive – I can’t imagine doing what they’ve done. Only a month to go. Oh, also, I’m only moving once. Then I’m never moving again.

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